Common Core Standards: ELA
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
Breakin’ it Down:
If you think about it, an author is a lot like the director of a movie. Authors cast their characters, dress their sets, manipulate dialogue and pacing, determine the sequence of scenes, etc. While they may not have all the Hollywood glam or the cool canvas chair (sad, we know), authors are saddled with just as many nuanced choices to make as film directors. This standard asks students to examine those choices; it asks them to wrestle with complex questions of author’s purpose. Students should be able to step behind the camera and analyze why the author included a particular element or made a stylistic choice. They should be able to discuss how the author’s choices impact the text and the reader’s experience of the text:
- What choices cause the reader to like or dislike certain characters?
- Why do we trust the blue-eyed charmer and question the brooding, shadowy stranger? The author couldn’t be playing with our preconceived notions, could they?
- How does the choice and development of setting create a particular mood?
- Why did the author choose to reveal the events of the story in this order?
This is a great time to team up with your friendly, neighborhood Writing Standards for Grades 11-12 since students will need to think like writers in order to accomplish the goals of this standard.
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Using this Standard
- 1984 Teacher Pass
- A Raisin in the Sun Teacher Pass
- A Rose For Emily Teacher Pass
- A View from the Bridge Teacher Pass
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Teacher Pass
- Animal Farm Teacher Pass
- Antigone Teacher Pass
- Beowulf Teacher Pass
- Brave New World Teacher Pass
- Death of a Salesman Teacher Pass
- Fahrenheit 451 Teacher Pass
- Fences Teacher Pass
- Frankenstein Teacher Pass
- Grapes Of Wrath Teacher Pass
- Great Expectations Teacher Pass
- Hamlet Teacher Pass
- Heart of Darkness Teacher Pass
- Julius Caesar Teacher Pass
- King Lear Teacher Pass
- Lord of the Flies Teacher Pass
- Macbeth Teacher Pass
- Moby Dick Teacher Pass
- Narrative of Frederick Douglass Teacher Pass
- Oedipus the King Teacher Pass
- Of Mice and Men Teacher Pass
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Teacher Pass
- Othello Teacher Pass
- Romeo and Juliet Teacher Pass
- Sula Teacher Pass
- The Aeneid Teacher Pass
- The As I Lay Dying Teacher Pass
- The Bluest Eye Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales General Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Cask of Amontillado Teacher Pass
- The Catch-22 Teacher Pass
- The Catcher in the Rye Teacher Pass
- The Crucible Teacher Pass
- The Great Gatsby Teacher Pass
- The House on Mango Street Teacher Pass
- The Iliad Teacher Pass
- The Lottery Teacher Pass
- The Metamorphosis Teacher Pass
- The Odyssey Teacher Pass
- The Scarlet Letter Teacher Pass
- The Tell-Tale Heart Teacher Pass
- Their Eyes Were Watching God Teacher Pass
- Things Fall Apart Teacher Pass
- To Kill a Mockingbird Teacher Pass
- Twilight Teacher Pass
- Wide Sargasso Sea Teacher Pass
- Wuthering Heights Teacher Pass
The Daily Grind: Teaching the Standard
NOVICE: Give students one element of the text to focus on (say, setting or point of view) and ask them to track the author’s choices for that particular element. Then, give students some probing questions to help them analyze the purpose and effect of the choices they’ve identified.
INTERMEDIATE/ALL-STAR: Give students a list of several elements from the text and ask them to track the author’s choices for these elements as they read. You might give them a few probing questions to get started (see below), but then students should be able to take the reins and continue their analysis on their own.
Here are some ideas of choices to examine and questions to ask:
|What choices did the author make with...||Look for...||Probing questions...|
|Elements of the setting|
|Order of Events|
|Point of View and Characterization|
Quiz QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
- Beloved: Characterization
- Beloved: Facebook Plot Summary
- Beloved: Archetypes
- Beloved: Setting
- Beloved: Endings
- Beloved: "Rememory"
- Teaching Beowulf: Speaking Beowulf
- Teaching Beowulf: Wise Guys in Beowulf: Gnomic Verse
- Teaching Beowulf: Adapting Beowulf
- Teaching Beowulf: Characterization
- Teaching Beowulf: Facebook Plot Summary
- Teaching Beowulf: Archetypes
- Teaching Beowulf: Setting
- Black Boy: Characterization
- Black Boy: Facebook Plot Summary
- Black Boy: Archetypes
- Black Boy: Setting
- Black Boy: The Great Debate
- Black Boy: Tomes on an Adolescent Existence
- Black Boy: The Black Boy Budget
- Teaching Brave New World: Aldous Huxley: Oracle or Alarmist?
- Teaching Brave New World: Characterization
- Teaching Brave New World: Facebook Plot Summary
- Teaching Brave New World: Archetypes
- Teaching Brave New World: Setting
- Catch-22: Waiting for Yossarian: Bureaucracy in Catch-22 and in Schools
- Catch-22: Oops, I Satirized It Again
- Catch-22: Achilles’ Heel: Antiheroes in Catch-22 and the Iliad
- Catch-22: Characterization
- Catch-22: Facebook Plot Summary
- Catch-22: Archetypes
- Catch-22: Setting
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Characterization
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Facebook Plot Summary
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Archetypes