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Focus Lesson. Literacy, September 8 th 2011. Objective. Today I will listen and respond to “Out of the Gang” by identifying instances of dialogue and explain in writing how the use of dialogue adds to the meaning of the story. . Why is Dialogue Important?.

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Focus lesson

Focus Lesson

Literacy, September 8th 2011


Objective
Objective

  • Today I will listen and respond to “Out of the Gang” by identifying instances of dialogue and explain in writing how the use of dialogue adds to the meaning of the story.


Why is dialogue important
Why is Dialogue Important?

  • It helps the reader make a greater connection with the characters in the story

    • It is better than description: it helps us feel like we are directly involved in the story’s situation, even more so than when it is just described to us.


Questions to ask as you find dialogue in a text
Questions to Ask as You Find Dialogue in a Text

  • Is this dialogue meaningful to the story?

  • How does this dialogue help me as the reader better understand what is happening?

  • What does the dialogue reveal to me about the characters?


Example one
Example One

  • Alex is a middle school student who is having a tough time keeping up with his grades, but is enjoying his English class.

  • His mom, a single parent who works three jobs, doesn’t understand how he feels, but tries to help by asking lots of questions.


Example one1
Example One

"Alex," my mother asked, "what were your activities and pursuits at your middle school today?”


"I had a full day of activities, Mother.  My teachers were stimulating, and my English class was especially delightful."



Questions to ask as you find dialogue in a text1
Questions to Ask as You Find Dialogue in a Text

  • Does this dialogue seem meaningful to the story?

  • How does this dialogue help me as the reader better understand what is happening?

  • What does the dialogue reveal to me about the characters?


Let s try again
Let’s try again…

  • "How was school?”
"I don't know.  All right, I guess.”

  • “Alex, you need to talk to me. How was English today? You like that class, right?”

  • “Yeah, it was fine. Whatever.”

  • “Alex, don’t walk away from me! I want to know how school was!”

  • “Mom, just leave me alone!”


In groups
In Groups

  • Does this dialogue seem meaningful to the story?

  • How does this dialogue help me as the reader better understand what is happening?

  • What does the dialogue reveal to me about the characters?



Example two
Example Two

“Mom, do I need to eat my liver?”

“Yes, you do. I had to when I was a kid. Ask your grandma.”

“Is that true?” asked Max. “Did she have to eat this stuff when she was my age?”

"Yes, Little Max. She did, just like you should.”


On your own
On Your Own:

  • Look at the following text.

  • Answer these questions:

    • Does this dialogue seem meaningful to the story?

    • How does this dialogue help me as the reader better understand what is happening?

    • What does the dialogue reveal to me about the characters?


Lisa had just gotten out of the car and was heading around the corner of the garage when she ran into Brian.

“Jesus, you startled me. I wasn’t expecting you here.” His face looked sort of pale and pinched. He’s found out, she thought. I finally broke it off, but I was too late.

He said, “It’s been a real day for expectations. Where were you? I’ve been waiting here for an hour. You didn’t leave a note or—”

“I wasn’t planning on going anywhere—” Which sounded like crap when she said it, and she knew it. She was wearing a navy dress with a fitted waist and a low neckline, which had been a gift from Kevin. Heels. Hose. Make-up. The last time Brian had seen her in make-up when they weren’t on their way to church or a restaurant had been right after the second baby was born. Eight years ago? Yeah. About that .He raised an eyebrow.

“I can see that.” Pure sarcasm. For a moment his face lost the pinched look, and she saw suspicion in his eyes. “Where’s your coat?”

“I left the house in a hurry. I… um… my mother …”The pinched look was back around his eyes, and she stopped, suddenly frightened. He knew she hadn’t been visiting her mother in the hospital. Maybe he’d hired a detective to follow her. The sound of her heart pounding roared in her ears. If he really knew, she would lose everything. The boys. Brian. Her home. Her friends.

But he was saying, “The hospital reached you? God, I’m sorry. That’s why—”Now the scared feeling was worse. Different. But worse.

“The hospital?”

“They called me when they couldn’t get you.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Your mother. You said —”The lie came easily, easier than the lies that had preceded it over the last three months, pouring out of her mouth without any effort on her part.

She shivered and rubbed her arms and said, “I ran out to buy some flowers for her. She’s been so down.” Breast cancer and a modified mastectomy at fifty-eight. Mom was in the hospital doing chemo, and she was coming through it like a trooper, but she really had been down. Not that Lisa had done much to cheer her up. She’d had her mind on… other things. No more of that, though. The suspicion was back in his eyes.

“For three hours you’ve been buying flowers?”

“And then I drove around. I’ve had… a lot on my mind. But I’m fine now. Fine.” He looked a little sick.

“You didn’t go by the hospital?”

“No.” She’d been saving that for when she could look her mother in the eye again. No, mom, I’m not cheating on my husband. I’m not cheating on my family. I’m a good wife. A good mother. Now she could do that.

“Look, I’m freezing. Let’s go inside. Why did the hospital call? Does the doctor need to talk to me about more tests?” He was shaking his head—no, no, no—and his eyes were as bleak as the day.

“We have to go to the hospital.”


Exit ticket
Exit Ticket the corner of the garage when she ran into Brian.

  • Look at the text taken from the showcase today.

  • On your own piece of paper, answer these questions:

    • Does this dialogue help you feel more interested in the text? How?

    • Does the dialogue help you feel connected to the character? Does it give you more insight into his life? Why or why not?


“What does your tattoo mean?” I asked Nick. the corner of the garage when she ran into Brian.

"I got a five-point star with a 'b' in the middle of it, for Blood, then just a money sign. Then I got my street name up here....”

“What’s it like being in a gang?”

"A couple of my homies died recently. It's hard to take, but it's life too. If you're gonna represent your 'hood it's gonna happen.” Nick replied.


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