The Year of Secret Assignments Letter Writing Assignment (SDR)

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Activity: Symbol and figure identification; Letter writing.

Book: The Year of Secret Assignments (2003) by Jaclyn Moriarty

Materials: Large index cards, looseleaf paper.

  1. Grade Level: 9th grade
  2. ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3b Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters

Unit’s Essential Questions/Enduring Understandings:

What is identity? What shapes who we are?

Placement of this activity within the Unit:

Students will be about a forty percent of the way through the book before they do this activity (pg. 100). By this time in the novel the students will know a little about each character’s interests, experiences and character traits.

Next Steps: Choose one of the characters in the book you feel you know the best.

Write a 200 word letter in their voice-10 years into the future where he/she reconnects with one of his/her friends explaining how their years after high school went for them.

The letter must contain actual facts/details about the character previously learned and about any character they mention. The events or occurrences 10 years post high school must be believable and connect to the character we knew through letters. This will be assigned after students complete the book.

Assessment of the activity:

-Ability to connect various parts and details of the novel and make connections to characters

-The use of letter writing to understand a character’s traits, interests and motivations.

Common Core Learning Standards:

ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3.B

Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3.D

Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.

Lesson Plan                                                                               

EQ: What is identity? How is our identity shaped?

Do Now: – 4-5 minutes.

Side A: Think of someone you identify with in your life.

   In what ways/how do you identify with this person?

Side B: How would you represent this person (or your connection)? Use a symbol, word, or picture to represent this connection. Just one.

-Share your response with a partner.

Mini-lesson: 1-2 minutes

As you saw from the opening activity we have all been lucky and able to find someone we can identify with in life. What we often find is that it is very easy to keep relationships and connections strong when you feel you can identify with someone. Often it is more difficult to form a relationship when you are starting from scratch and might not yet have found common factors through which you can identify with another person.

-Today in class we will be practicing forging connections/exploring how we create connections by writing to someone we don’t identify with, because many times you start at the beginning and must discover ways you identify with a person.

Overview: We are going to do this in letter format because we see that in the book The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty, our main characters are using letters to create connections to three guys at another school- three guys who feel they can’t identify with the girls at all.

Activity: 5 minutes

Write a letter to someone you have not seen or spoken to in a while but would like to. Who do you have in mind? What would you reveal to him/her? What is the purpose? The details are up to you. Have fun with it J   75-100 words.

Share out to the class: 2 mins.

Q&A: 5 mins.

Student worksheet:

Do Now: – 4-5 minutes.

Side A: Think of someone you identify with in your life.

   In what ways/how do you identify with this person?

Side B: How would you represent this person (or your connection)? Use a symbol, word, or picture to represent this connection. Just one. Draw below. Share with a partner.

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Overview: We are going to do this in letter format because we see that in the book The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty, our main characters are using letters to create connections to three guys at another school- three guys who feel they can’t identify with the girls at all.

Activity: 5 minutes

Write a letter to someone you have not seen or spoken to in a while but would like to. Who do you have in mind? What would you reveal to him/her? What is the purpose? The details are up to you. Have fun with it J   75-100 words.

Write it on the back of this paper.  

Share out your letter to the class: 2 mins.

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