Saving Summer: The Raven and Sunshine

It is a balmy 71 degrees Fahrenheit, 22 Celcius, and there is nothing but blue skies and Palamino ponies as far as the eye can see. Admittedly, a bit difficult to get my head back to a dreary, dark December, and knocks on chamber doors, but if I don’t do this now, I might lose the moment. Recently on the Notice and Note Facebook page, there was a wonderful thread on how to teach theme. This question provided a chance to go through some of my previous research on this question, and see other’s grand ideas. One thing I didn’t get to share was what my coach Vicky walked me through last fall: it was a new way to teach one of my favorites, The Raven, and though I need to modify the lesson and add a bit more of my personality to it, this is a wonderful approach.

Here are two previous posts:

Thematic Thursdays, published July 27, 2016

Stitching Together Themes, published November 3, 2015

Let’s walk through it:

  1. Read the text first. Sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes we all need this reminder.
  2. Develop a few possible investigative questions for students:
    1. What is the conflict?
    2. What does the character want?
    3. What are they afraid of?
    4. What do they love?
    5. What sensory details show us possible seed ideas?
  3. Have anchor charts ready to go!

This is Vicky’s lesson plan:


The If/Then Chart: project and share
Have multiple copies of the text and display on an ELMO type device: go through the text with each class.

(I cannot find the anchor chart with all the students’ thinking…ugh: but it had words like:

  • nightmare
  • bad luck
  • loneliness
  • despair
  • loss
  • sadness

And if you need an If/Then chart for when students are finished, what they might want to do next:

And a classic: