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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

A presentation of activities designed to enhance the comprehension of a novel in an 8th grade English class.
by

Jackie Johnson

on 11 December 2012

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Transcript of The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Prediction Activities for an 8th grade English class The Witch of Blackbird Pond The Text Background and Plot: The Witch of Blackbird Pond
centers around Kit Tyler who is forced to leave her beautiful home in Barbados and travel to the bleak Puritan town of
Wethersfield, CT. She must learn to adjust and adapt to her new surroundings and the values and ethics of a Puritan community. However, she is able to find a kindred spirit, in an old Quaker widow, who is also a social outcast.

Reasoning: This story deals with the themes of social exclusion and adapting to new environments, both of which middle school students can relate to. Additionally the text provides cross curricular opportunities with history courses. Pre Reading Vocabulary Activity Purpose: The text is rich with both Tier 2 and Tier 3 words. This activity will help them familiarize themselves with new words and give them a better understanding of the time period in which the book is set.

Implementation: The students will have already read chapter 1-5, so they will have some context to go by when completing the activity prior to reading chapters 6-12. This activity will be completed as a homework assignment and discussed with partners during class.

Goals: This activity will aid students in meeting my goals for them because it will further their understanding of the text. Students need to understand the vocabulary in the text for comprehension. Comprehension Activities Activity 1: Graphic Organizer
Purpose/Goals: Students will do their own independent research using sources from other classes as well as outside sources to contextualize and further their understanding of the Puritan and Quaker religions.
Implementation: The activity is in the form of a Venn Diagram. Students will come to class and will have completed their Venn Diagrams. They will partner with students in the class to discuss their findings during class time. The activity will conclude with a whole group discussion.
Comprehension Activity 2 In this activity students will be completing a chart in small groups to understand the political affiliations of some of the characters.
Purpose/Goal: Students may become confused over the arguments some of the characters have over the charter of the Connecticut colonies and the political tension of the time. This will help them organize the beliefs and affiliations of all of the characters.
Implementation: This activity will be completed in small groups and then discussed as a whole group to ensure that all students have understood the concepts.
Post Reading Activity Lastly students will use the information from the chapters that we have read that week, to predict what will happen in the final chapters of the novel.
Purpose/Goal: The purpose and goal of this exercise is for me to assess student's comprehension and for them to extend what they have learned about the characters and story to make predictions. My goal is for students to have a greater understanding of literary structure specifically foreshadowing.
Implementation: This activity will be done as an individual in class activity. I will present students with the questions I would like them to ponder and let them use class time to develop appropriate responses.
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