Another Side of Paradise

By Vicki Dalton, November 28, 2009

Grade Level

  • Middle School

Category

  • City of Neighborhoods

Subject Area

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Lesson Time

450 minutes (minimum) for classroom activities 120 to 180 minutes for homework

Introduction

This lesson is based on the students having read This Side of Paradise by Stephen Layne.

The epilogue of a story reveals that the story isn’t truly over.  Students will use the design process to create a sequel to a novel based on skeletal information revealed in the book, particularly the epilogue.  The challenge will be to write a sequel to the novel.  Investigating the problem or opportunity will involve going back through the book to find information that will be necessary to write the sequel.  Students will also pose questions about how different conflicts entering the story and a different setting would affect the outcome of the story.

Students will then [re]Frame the problem.  Students should by this point realize that there are limitations regarding setting, characters, land acquisition, etc. that they will have to address for the sequel.

Generating possible solutions is the next step in the design process.  Students will at this point write down all ideas they have for a possible sequel.  All ideas will be written, drawn, modeled, etc. for consideration.

Students will then choose a sequel idea and move into the editing and developing of that idea.  Students can make brainstorming webs, scale models, a map, etc., to assist in the editing process.

Students will then share ideas with other students in a group situation.  Students will receive feedback on the plausibility of the idea and suggestions for improvement.  This is a peer editing step also.

Finalize the solution would be the actual writing of the sequel idea.  After writing the sequel idea, students will present their idea to the class in the form of reading their story to the class.

National Standards

NCTE/IRA STANDARDS COVERED:

1.  Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment.  Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

2.  Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g. philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.

3.  Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.  They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g. sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

4.  Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g. conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.< o:p>

5.  Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

6.  Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g. spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

7.  Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize date from a variety of sources (e.g. print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.

8.  Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g. libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

9.  Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g. for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information.

Common Core State Standards

English Language Arts Standards Writing 

Grade 6-8

Text Types and Purposes:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.A Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.B Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.C Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.D Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.E Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.F Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.3 (See note; not applicable as a separate requirement)

Production and Distribution of Writing:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Range of Writing:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

English Language Arts Standards: Speaking and Listening

Grade 6-8

Comprehension and Collaboration:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1.A Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.2 Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.3 Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)

English Language Arts Standards: Reading Informational Text

Grade 6-8    

Key Ideas and Details:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Craft and Structure:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.5 Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Objectives

Students will:

  • apply the design process to the project of writing a sequel to the novel
  • identify clues from the novel that must be included in their sequel idea
  • analyze various sequel ideas to determine the best choice for a sequel
  • synthesize information the book provides, the students’ own brainstorming, and information collected by the students to write a sequel to the novel
  • assess each others’ ideas looking for discrepancies of what the book says and what the proposed sequel contains

Resources

This Side of Paradise by Stephen Layne.

http://www.stevelayne.com -- the author’s Web site.  There is much information about the book and resources to use if teaching the book.

http://pbskids.org/designsquad/

http://www.csupomona.edu/~dnelson/intro.html

http://www.ted.com/themes/view/id/25 

Materials

  • one copy of This Side of Paradise per student
  • peer editing sheets of teacher choice
  • rubric for grading based on state standards and lesson objectives

Vocabulary

N/A

Procedures

(Note: Students must read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment.  Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.  This Side of Paradise is a science fiction text set in modern day, contemporary times.  It is a book that most students absolutely have a hard time putting down.

Students are to read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g. philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.  This book deals with philosophical and ethical human experiences.

Students must adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g. conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.  Students have to know the audience they are writing for to effectively accomplish this.  For this project, their audience will be their teacher and peers.

Students will have read the book This Side of Paradise by Steven La yne before beginning this activity.  This lesson could absolutely be adapted and used with other novels.  If a novel does not have an ending that leaves the reader “hanging,” the students could write an alternate ending to a novel.

This Side of Paradise has an epilogue that leaves the reader baffled.  Students think the antagonist has been killed, but the epilogue proves otherwise.  After reading this epilogue, students are always left with their mouths agape.  Whenever I’ve taught this book in the past, there has always been a discussion of what could have happened.  This time the design process will be a part of that discussion.

Students will apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.  They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g. sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).  Students will have to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and draw on previous experience from their knowledge of the book to adequately write a sequel idea to the book.)

DAY 1:

1. Students will begin the sequel idea the day that the book is finished.  The epilogue is short, and the epilogue gets its own day because of the shock value.  After finishing the book, there will be a whole class discussion on the possible whereabouts of Mr. Eden/Dad (Chip), the antagonist of the story.  Questions about how he survived will be entertained.  Students will then be asked to think about what a sequel to the story might be.

2. Students will start by addressing the challenge.  The challenge is developing a sequel idea to This Side of Paradise.  In a whole class discussion, students will discuss information from the book that provides limitations to where Eden Village is now located.

3. Students will then investigate the problem individually.  Students will research possible geographical locations for the village, what kind of issues would be involved in acquiring land overseas, transportation issues, possible conflicts that could have occurred in the book to affect the plot, etc.

4. Students will use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g. libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge of the possible locations and conflicts.  (Note: A realtor knowledgeable in overseas real estate could be invited to come and talk with students about how overseas real estate transactions happen.)

DAY 2, 3, and 4: Continued research.

DAY 5:

1. In the [re}Frame the Problem stage, students will take time to reexamine, rethink, and redefine the problem. Students have probably changed their original idea at this time and may already have several ideas.

2. Generating possible solutions will involve students writing down as many possible sequel ideas as possible.  Students may also use copied maps, sketching, models, brainstorming webs, outlines, etc., to turn preliminary ideas into concrete ideas.  Time in class will be allotted for this.  If students do not finish, students will complete generation of possible sequels as homework.

DAY 6:

1. After generating all possible solutions, students will pick one idea to edit and develop into an actual sequel to the novel.  Students will prototype through writings, brainstorming webs, outlines, models, sketches, character drawings, models, etc., to fully develop the selected sequel idea.

2. Homework: Using the prototypes, students will then write the sequel idea.  This will be a first draft of the sequel idea.

DAY 7:

1. Once students have completed the first draft of their story, students will share their sequel idea with a small group of peers.  Students will share with the group how they arrived at their sequel idea by showing the steps used to get to the sequel idea.  The small group of peers will provide feedback for improving the story. Each member of the group will present their draft.

2. Homework: Students will then do a rewrite to include any necessary or proposed changes.

DAY 8:

1. Students will then visit the Share & Evaluate step once again as four peers edit the proposed sequel idea for grammar issues, spelling issues, usage issues, etc.

2. Homework: Next, students arrive at the point of writing a final draft of the proposed sequel.

DAY 9 (and after):

1. Finally, students will Articulate the Solution and their process by presenting their process to the class as well as then reading their proposed sequel to the class.

Assessment

Students will be graded on the final paper using a rubric.  Students will be able to somewhat choose the level of work they choose to do based on the rubric requirements.  Students will have other students to give suggestions for improvements or comments about what works.  Students will be grouped in with students of a variety of levels so struggling students can receive valuable critique and help from stronger students.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Students could do the research for the possible locations during social studies class if the school has the teaming concept in place. 

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