Lesson Plan: Whole-Class Literature Discussion
Ana Hernandez, Howard Doolin Middle School, Miami, Florida
Hernandez’s lesson plan is also available as a PDF
file. See Materials Needed, below, for links to student
activity sheets related to the lesson.
Using student-generated questions for whole-class, critical
Tears of a Tiger, by Sharon Draper
questions about text
Before this lesson, students should prepare questions as
a homework assignment or in pairs as a prior classroom activity,
using the Question Guide
student activity sheet.
passages of text for student read-alouds (consider passages
that focus on characters’ dilemmas)
The students involved in this lesson are considered Gifted
and Talented (GT) in their school. They are able to evaluate
and synthesize information at a critical level. The students’
reading of the novel Tears of a Tiger is in progress,
and they have already generated their own questions about
the text for this lesson’s activities. Students have previously
read the novel The Chocolate War, which deals with
similar conflicts and themes as Tears of a Tiger.
in critical literature discussions, focusing on conflict
and characters’ actions in the novel.
thought-provoking questions about the literature.
their own understanding of the literature by raising questions,
challenging classmates and themselves, and by listening
to multiple perspectives in the classroom community.
Products From Lesson:
Expanded understanding of the text Tears of a Tiger
through written answers to student-generated discussion questions
generating and posing their own questions about the literature
Structure of Class:
Prior to this lesson, students worked in pairs to formulate
thought-provoking, open-ended questions about the text. For
the class discussion in this lesson, students participated
individually, offering their interpretations, questions, and
Prior to this Lesson:
Question Guide to help
students form their own questions as they read the text.
students to work in pairs to read the text, gathering their
own questions about what they encounter there. Direct them
to write down the questions and think about possible answers.
will read aloud significant passages from the novel. Passages
should be pre-selected by the teacher, focusing on particular
themes, conflicts, or characters’ actions.
will facilitate discussion about conflicts presented in
the novel, in order to solicit students’ opinions and to
help them make personal connections to the text. In particular,
teachers will encourage students to analyze the characters’
actions, choices, and consequences and to consider various
changes across time in character, actions, and mood. Students’
questions should drive the discussion.
Assessment: If you have time to allow students to write
in the same class period as the discussion, ask them to
start these initial assessment activities:
the questions asked throughout the discussion. Ask students
to respond in writing to the questions they posed in
the discussion as well as two additional ones posed
students to reflect upon their understanding of the
novel, how it has changed and expanded, and how the
class discussion influenced their current interpretations
of Tears of a Tiger. Students can respond in
class journals, write a letter to their teacher or classmates,
or turn in an individual answer and reflection sheet.
Activities or Culminating Activities:
will select a teen issue or conflict presented in the novel
and create an informative brochure about Tears of a Tiger.
Each brochure will include facts, interviews, and suggestions
for dealing with problems.
will create a Venn diagram
to compare and contrast the conflicts and themes presented
in the books Tears of a Tiger and The Chocolate
Teacher will assess student participation in the class discussion
and expected student reflection on the experience.