Today, I want my students to be able to approach a new text and do the literary analysis independently, without needing me (or Sparksnotes) to tell them what to think. Now, I don't drop them in the wild forest of analysis without a compass and hope they come out unscathed. Instead, I use a gradual release model to show them how to approach text.
Big moments in the plot
References to the title
conflict—developing, continuing or resolving
GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS OF ANALYZING
After they've learned about close reading, I begin with short stories, because of their brevity, before we move onto longer texts. Then, I will use a little bit of gradual release as we study three short stories. The first one is one of my all time favourites: The Singing Silence by Eva-Lis Wuorio (I’d provide a link, if I could, but I can’t find an e-copy). The story is about a wonderful old guy named Vicente, who discovers that true contentment is not found in your pocket book, but in doing what brings you joy. It is just chock full of good messages and I use it as a jumping off point to writing about literature. First I will set a purpose for reading the story: to analyze the character of Vicente and to discover the author’s message. I will direct them to take notes with that purpose in mind and will model the process of close reading with them, using the first few pages of the text.