When students arrive, I have them take out their close read from the previous day's lesson. I ask them to write down, on an index card, 3 key take-aways from the reading of Sojourner Truth's speech. As they do this, I walk through and look over the texts to ensure all students have completed the tasks and are prepared to continue with the second text. During this time, I have any of the students who were absent the first day read over the first text. These students will be following us on our journey today with Maya Angelou, but I want them to have some familiarity with the previous text as well. It is very important that all students work to develop a larger understanding of the two texts and how they relate to one another.
Today's class follows a rather similar format to the previous day. I ensure we have at least five extra minutes for this portion, though, because we will be looking at poetry, and this style typically takes my students just a bit more time and effort to sift through.
I have attached the walk-through Powerpoint with steps from the previous day's Sojourner Truth and Maya Angelou CLOSE reads for convenience. We will go through the same process of scaffolding the text from the superficial aspects down to the more complex with the Still I Rise CLOSE read. I do not ask the students to begin comparing the texts as of yet because I feel it is important for them to have a full grasp of each text individually first. This is something that is a key idea in the book my school has done a campus study of, The Core Six. I address the process of the Compare and Contrast strategy with the students in the next lesson.
As with the previous day, the students move from the seemingly superficial into greater depth with each step, working toward a more meaningful understanding of the text. This day tends to be deceptively simple, as it has a very approachable nature and does not include very difficult language. What the students tend to struggle with is the meaning behind some of the metaphors, as the meaning is deep and worldly in nature.