Teacher Resources - Jillian Sullivan

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Teacher Resources

Shreve's promise by Jillian SullivanTeacher resource notes for Shreves’ Promise Download PDF

What About Bo? by Jillian Sullivan

Teacher resource notes for What About Bo? Download PDF


Unit Plan for Silverstream, Year 10

This is a 20 lesson resource for teachers.  The following is a brief description of the lessons.  The complete lesson plan can be downloaded here: Download PDF

Unit Plan English – The Novel

Silverstream by Jillian SullivanTitle: Silverstream, by Jillian Sullivan

Rationale: Silverstream is a book that offers year 10 students an adventure story with tension and drama to keep them reading and on a deeper level an exploration of the meaning of freedom for a society. The story has strong female and male characters and good use of language techniques for studying. It offers scope for discussion and activities exploring to what extent an individual can and should go against the rules of the day when their conscience tells them it is the moral thing to do. The book is set in New Zealand slightly in the future, when the government has gone back to putting unemployed people in work camps, but then uses these camps as a way to control people.

The main themes in this novel are to do with freedom – and how much freedom should a community give up to achieve a standard of living, the dangers of someone else deciding what rights a person has and the role of the individual in standing up to a regime. The book can encourage a look at the heroes who have stood up for society as well as showing teenagers who do this and make a difference. It examines courage and choice, concepts students of this age group are facing in their lives as they grow towards adulthood.

Links to other units: Poetry. The main heroine in Silverstream carries a poetry book into the dangerous camp with her and at certain points the poems stand as an inspiration or explanation or even prediction of what is to come. One activity I use is to look at the role of poets in fighting against war, abuse of power and encouraging people to stand up for freedom. This will link into a future unit on poetry that will look specifically at the war poets. By reading some poetry in the context of a teenage adventure novel, students could go into the war poet unit with more understanding of what the poet was protesting against.

The unit also links to a future unit on myths and legends, specifically studying the hero’s journey within myths of different cultures. The main threads of a hero’s journey can be studied in this novel and can also be linked in to units on film as well as myths. The book used in this unit is Myths and Legends – the gift of stories from our cultures, by Jillian Sullivan (Pearson Education 2007).

The current unit will be linked to achievement objectives at level five of the English curriculum in three strands – written, oral and visual.

Skeleton of Unit:
Total of Lessons – 20
Includes Reading Time – 6 periods plus homework

Lessons 1 & 2 AO 2 a, b, e, d. LO 1, 4.
Pre-reading classes
Links (interpersonal speaking, interpersonal listening, using texts, thinking critically,
Ten minutes -Introduce novel briefly – name, author, NZ book,
Twenty minutes – Whole class discussion on nature of heroes
Ten minutes – Read first few pages to introduce style and voice in novel and to lead into the idea of a quest
Twenty minutes – Teacher led discussion of hero’s journey as related to myths – Ordinary world, Call to Adventure, Crossing the Threshold, The Wise Mentor, Trials, Allies and Enemies, The Innermost Cave, Combat with the Shadow, Return with the Reward. For first task, model example of story of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Next lesson
Ten minutes – Pass out myth books and task sheet. Break class into groups, 6 x 4 or 5 for duration of unit.
Assign myth stories one to a group. Define expectations for group for task
Thirty minutes to read story and discuss in light of questions will be asked by class. Twenty minutes – First three groups present to class. One person introduces context, one performs short speech as hero, rest to answer in hot seat questions from class as shadow, mentor, threshold guardian or ally.
Class to write down paragraph in books about each hero and one aspect of their journey.

Silverstream – Jillian Sullivan
Myths and Legends – the gift of stories from our cultures – Jillian Sullivan, using
stories – Rau-whata, Hine-marama, Theseus, Meng Chiang, Odysseus, Tautini-awhitia (three Maori, two European, one Asian)

Lesson three: 1a, 2a, d, e. LO1,2, 4.
Reading, interpersonal speaking, interpersonal listening, thinking critically
Fifteen minutes – rest of groups present hero stories. Teacher to carry out formative assessment that they understand the archetypal stages can answer questions in character; can perform speech with some understanding of character.
Ten minutes – think pair share on personal aspect of hero quest they have been on themselves – sports, hobbies, race etc. identify one issue that was against them and one thing that helped.
Ten minutes – think pair share with another student on a time they have stood up for someone or something.
Ten minutes – report back to whole class with responses.
Fifteen minutes – Teacher distributes three level reading guide and books. Reads out first two chapters

Lesson four: 1a, c. 2a. LO 4
Ten minutes – Recap on beginning of book. Ask a few questions what could be ahead.
Twenty minutes – Read three chapters – one teacher, one class, one silent.
Twenty minutes – Group work on three level reading guide.
Ten minutes – Class goes over first two levels

Lesson five: 1a,c. 2a,c,d,e. LO 4
Thirty minutes group work on three level guide and report back to class.
Thirty minutes – Read three chapters – one teacher, once class, one silent.

Lesson six: 1a,b, LO 3
Five minutes – Check all up to date with book.
Thirty-five minutes – Read (combination) four chapters
Twenty minutes – Recap on board hero journey elements so far.

Lesson seven: 1a, b. 2a,c,d,e LO 3,4
Twenty minutes – Combination read two chapters
Ten minutes – teacher reads (or chooses good reader) full poem that is quoted. Whole class discussion on what poem means in story
Fifteen minutes – next two chapters read (solves above questions)
Fifteen minutes in groups looking at idea of foreshadowing as related to other poems and presenting ideas to class

Resources: photocopy of poem, appendix four

Lesson eight: 1a, 2a,d,e. LO 4
Thirty-five minutes – Combination read four chapters
Five minutes – Explain task coming up, campaign to either promote or ban the book so students can be thinking about which direction they want to go.
Twenty minutes – Whole class discussion about banning of books, some examples, what has happened.

Lesson nine: 1a,d,e. 2a,c,d,e. LO 3,4.
Fifteen minutes Final two chapters read out.
Ten minutes Post reading response. Students to write in book what they think outcome of book’s events will be.
Twenty five minutes Whole class discussion – favourite parts of book and why, what part they didn’t like and why, what characters they liked best or didn’t like and why.
Ten minutes Wordfind exercise to finish class

Lesson ten and eleven: 1a,b,c. 2a,c,d,e. LO 2, 3,4.
Close reading, exploring language, thinking critically,
Language features in writing – creating meaning and effect
Thirty minutes – Teacher led discussion of linguistic features in text
Metaphors, adjectives, active verbs, similes, sentence structure, sensory imagery, authentic details.
Teacher models and demonstrates with examples from text.
Ten minutes – Teacher led discussion about threshold guardians.
Pass out task sheet. Students to plot at which point in novel threshold guardians operate (could be main character’s fears as well) and back it up with quotes. Paste in workbooks.

Task – as individuals identify a passage in the book where a threshold guardian stood opposed to the main character Lorna to prevent or persuade her from an action. Identify the language techniques that contribute to the feeling of tension and drama in this scene.

Twenty minutes- break into small groups of five or six to discuss choices of scenes and importance of threshold and guardian. Students to identify scene they have chosen for working on in next lesson.

Next lesson –
Forty minutes to work on task.
Twenty minutes class sharing at end of lesson. Students to write in books at least two other scenes discussed and three features from them. Books collected for marking assessment.

Task: Rule up a chart in books under headings – adjectives, specific nouns, active verbs, sentence structure, metaphor, simile, chapter structure, direct speech, indirect speech, sensory image (taste, sound, touch, smell, sight)
Under each heading write if this feature applies to the chosen passage, put in the specific examples from the text and a brief explanation of how they helped add to tension in scene.

Example – (p 77-80) Lorna walks three paces from one end of the room to the other – specific detail to show how cramped the room is and feeling of being trapped. She sees the guard has tomato sauce on his collar and he smells of deodorant – this shows he is close in her personal space, adds to cramped and trapped feeling and possibility of being overpowered.

Resources – photocopy of task instruction. Appendix five

Lesson twelve and thirteen: 1a,c,2a,c,d,e. LO 3,4
Close reading, thinking critically, exploring language, interpersonal speaking and listening,
Fifteen minutes – whole class discussion of characters. List major and secondary characters
Fifteen minutes – Teacher led discussion – how is a character defined? List as class under characters on whiteboard – physical descriptions, what it is they want in the book.
Thirty minutes – hand out character task sheet, model an example, then class to work individually on sheets and paste in workbook – telling what a character is like by what they say, the use of dialogue to define character. Fill in direct quote and write what this says about the character.

Next lesson –
Thirty minutes – hand out duplicate character sheet. Whole class sharing on last lesson’s work. Class to listen and write in other’s observations on four characters
Thirty minutes – in pairs decide on a character that does not have much voice in the novel or direct speech, eg Simon who was drugged, and construct outline of a missing scene for them. Individually write some dialogue for that character. Share with each other. Listening student to say what they think this dialogue shows about the character. Suggestions – Simon, Violet, Amanda’s last boyfriend, Rachael’s father

Lesson Fourteen: 1a,b,c.2a,c,d,e, LO 3,4
Close reading, thinking critically, exploring language
Plot and Theme
Twenty minutes – whole class and teacher led discussion on what is theme.
Plot plotted out on whiteboard. Shape looked at. How does theme differ from plot?
Twenty minutes – break into groups.
Task – decide on major themes of novel
Twenty minutes – report back from groups to class.

Lesson fifteen: 3a,b,c. LO 5
Presenting, thinking critically, processing information.
Static Images
Twenty minutes teacher led discussion on visual and verbal features for static image. Class to choose to do book cover or poster. Poster can advertise and support the book or used to ban the book.
Ten minutes reminder of themes for static image
Ten minutes – Pass out exemplars of posters and written concept. Discuss. Pass out task sheet and explain.
Twenty minutes to begin planning choice and concepts for project

Lesson sixteen – eighteen: 3a,b,c. LO 5
Working on task.

Resources: Exemplars, poster, task sheets, art supplies and heavy paper.

Lesson nineteen: 3b,2a,b,,e LO 4, 5
Presenting, interpersonal speaking and listening, process
Thirty minutes – Presentation to class of posters, students to answer questions about them. Posters pinned on wall
Ten minutes – teacher led discussion of role poet’s place in protest and politics.
Twenty minutes – reader’s theatre, end unit by class breaking into groups, assigned full poem from book, time to practice and then performing poem to rest of class.
This leads on to next unit on poetry, specifically the war poets.

Lesson Twenty: Fun.
Show movie to class of Sleeping Dogs (103 minutes, carry on into lunch?)

About Jillian

Jillian is an award-winning author for children, young adults, and adults. A mother of 5, a Grandma of 9, a teacher of the 'Hero's Journey', a cyclist and a builder of strawbale houses.

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