Wilhelm's book "Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension"
Purpose: frontload information and get students thinking in another
This is a great activity for examining point
Reading: At the beginning of class leave a letter-like the
one below-on every table. When everyone is settled ask them to choose a
reader to read the letter for the rest of the group.
Explain this letter was found by a
servant-who cannot read-in the great hall of the castle. The servant is
confused about it, she knows it is official but since she can't read, must
find someone to read it to her.
It is your job to decide what you would
do if you were the servant.
She realizes this letter is very
important and can't decide who she should trust it with.
During The Reading:
Students are to look for reasons to trust or not trust the King and the
After The Reading:
Decide who you would give the letter to by using a TChart.
Use this [T-CHART
] On one side write Archduke and on the other side write King
. Under the Archduke make a list of reasons why she trusts or doesn't trust
the Archduke. On the other side make a list of reasons she would trust and
not trust the
reasons, what questions would she ask to determine who she most trusts?
Afterwards decide what is the real issue underlying
the words of this letter? (possible themes are trust, loyalty, allegiance)
Read out - round robin style-
what each group came up with and why. Make sure that the students discuss
the themes within the story.
Record comments for the
following question on an overhead or board.
My Loyal Guardsmen;
The time is now,
We must act swiftly! When the cat's away clean the Kingdom of mice!
Tomorrow noon. Offspring First; Herd second. Burn!
Follow -Up After the Reading Activities
Who in a Kingdom should know about
this letter? Make a list of at least five.
Choose to be one of the above people and
write a monologue about the situation. Include your feelings about it and
your ideas for addressing the situation.
Share your monologues.
Role play a scene in the
square of all the people who found out about the letter. Share
their worry and concern.