Dialogue between two students, one who is representing Boston, as a citizen, and one from Madras.
. Pretend students are from respective cities. More than two students may be included. Discuss problems associated with each area. Gear all conversation toward this end. Have others observe the conversations and monitor their authenticity. This would be a good way to see how much students have learned about each area. Have students pretend to be in a restaurant in either area, or perhaps even a schoolroom with one student acting as the teacher.
Come in early or have students come in early to help prepare a skit.
Dialogue may be rehearsed or spontaneous depending on skill levels of the group.
Have the entire skit take the form of a play.
Assign two to four students to read the same article or book. If it is a remedial group, read it with them.
Review the book in-depth as a reviewer would do in the media (TV, radio, or print):
Become familiar with the background of the author.
Emphasize the powers of positive criticism.
Prepare questions in advance to stimulate discussion but otherwise let students handle it themselves. Make sure to involve all members in the discussion. If they are puzzled or confused by the material, use examples and experiences from familiar life situations to draw them out.
Summarize the findings of the group as they rate the quality of the author and the skills of the author in presenting relevant materials.
The format could be arranged as if it were a talk show with the students acting as a panel of critics and the teacher acting as the moderator. A make-believe interview with the author would be fun and effective also. The teacher or a student could be the author and positions could be rotated.
These skills learned here would include public speaking, improvement of retention skills, as well as reading development and organizational skills.
Appreciation for literature as a key for helping us in future life situations should be emphasized with the teacher playing a vital role model in this endeavor.
Lesson Plan Two
Group study of
Seven Summers: The Story of an Indian Childhood
Oral reading and explaining of the tale by the teacher followed by discussion of the story.
Vocabulary Word List
Using the text, have students decide on a correct meaning for each of the following:
a. One of two main religions in India.
b. Most influential religion in India.
c. Title of religious respect.
d. Name given to arch in fortress.
e. A barbarian or outcast.
f. Sun family.
g. Moon family.
h. Fire family.
i. Language of commoners.
j. Money usually given to beggars.
to go along with story: Using a dirt surface or box full of dirt, simulate Raja’s village. If you use a box and would like to use real plants, line it with a double thickness of plastic (garbage bags will do) stapled to the insides. Next, layer about one inch of crushed stone and fill box with dirt. Have students recreate the boy’s village.
Spend a portion of a day teaching class as it would be done in India. A typical Indian classroom as described in the text would consist of rows of students, boys in front, girls in rear, the teacher at the blackboard and all lessons presented in lecture fashion.
Have students identify their favorite characters and create a “spin-off” story about each. Although specific details may be lacking about a character’s life, they may use their imagination to recreate the characters.
Make a chart of
from the story. As students discover these, have them use a magic marker and fill in the information.
. What is the story about? The story is about more than just a boy’s life in India. What are the other things the author wishes to convey to the reader? A list may be developed through discussion.
List several events in the story and have the class put them into correct order. This may be done in small discussion groups and then presented to class with rationale.
Lesson Plan Three: Comprehension Skills
Using several copies of encyclopedias, have each small group use one copy to locate the following information. The information must be written in prose, not outline form. Encourage originality of thought but facts must not be altered.
1. Where is India? Draw a map. Locate the Punjab region. Mark all southern cities in red and all northern cities in blue.
2. Write a short explanation of the differences between northern and southern India.
3. Where in India would you choose to live? Why? (Be subjective.)
4. Discuss the Muslim religion.
5. Discuss the Hindu religion.
6. Why do you think the cow is a sacred animal in India? Is this good or bad?
7. From your discussions, how would a youngster from Boston feel if he were to attend school in Madras?
8. Would a student from Madras feel comfortable in Boston? Why or why not?