Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Author: James Welch
Title of work: "Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat," from Riding the Earthboy 40, and The Death of Jim Loney
Greg Hirst uses a reader-response approach by asking students to recognize that - for personal reasons - they are drawn to certain phrases and aspects of literature. In this lesson, Hirst helps his students to understand James Welch's work by getting them to focus on specific words that they find compelling and significant. This activity helps students figure out why these words have power in the context of a particular poem.
To prepare for the lesson, view The Expanding Canon video program 1, Part II. Online, review the Session 1 theory overview, strategies, information about the authors and literature, resources, and the downloadable print guide. Read "Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat," from Riding the Earthboy 40, and The Death of Jim Loney -- featured poem available in the print guide.
Teachers will need the following supplies:
Standards for the English Language Arts
In advance of the lesson, the students read The Death of Jim Loney -- except for the last chapter.
1. Hirst provides some background information on the author, who was a member of the Blackfeet and Gros Ventre tribes. He then introduces Welch's book of poetry, Riding the Earthboy 40, and asks them what they think "Earthboy 40" means.
2. Hirst begins a discussion about the poem "Christmas Comes to Moccasin Flat" by asking:
5. Hirst then asks students to choose one word on the board per stanza as the most important. When one word per stanza is left on the board, Hirst asks his students to use these words to summarize the poem in a sentence or two.
1. Hirst begins by asking students to summarize what happens in the novel. In order to promote understanding of the character Jim Loney, he asks the students what all young "Jim Loneys" do when they are in school.
2. Focusing on the end of the novel, Hirst asks students to read passages aloud. He explains that the students are going to write their own alternate ending to the novel.
3. Divided into groups, students decide why they think the novel ends as it does. Hirst prompts discussion with questions such as:
5. As a final activity, Hirst asks the students to read the final chapter of The Death of Jim Loney and compare it to the endings they created.
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