Tag Archives: quote analysis

Unpacking Passages

If you dug the idea of using Quote Analysis, or if you teach The Great Gatsby, you’ll want to see the Unpacking Passages pages over at TeachEng.us.

What I like about Ben Davis’ approach is that he created an acronym which would better help students remember the steps. Even this, however, needed some fine tuning and some scaffolding, which Ben describes in an earlier post

Okay, if you still haven’t clicked onto that blog, one more thing you’ll dig is the presentation of the documents there, as facilitated by Issuu. If you’re a blogger, or if you have a classroom site, you’ll appreciate the cool format provided by this free application. 

Interested in more ways to organize student note taking? Check out my recent post on Graphic Organizers over at Teaching that Sticks.

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Reading Strategy: Quote Analysis

Resource RoomGrade 5 teacher Jan emailed to say, “My students want to read and read and read, and it seems that they’re rarely slowing down to think about what they’re actually reading. Is there one simple thing I can try (immediately!) to get them to think more about what they’re reading?”

I’ll assume that we’re talking about fiction, and for starters I would recommend using quote analysis. Quote analysis is certainly nothing new; I used it informally for years before seeing it in a Resource Room lesson plan for Holes a few years back. I like the format presented there; it makes sense, and it’s readily internalized by students. (Click on that link above to check out Susan Jones’ four steps for yourself).

The activity doesn’t end there, of course. This analysis leads to discussion about the character:

  • What does this quote tell us about this character’s traits?
  • Is this behavior consistent with what we’ve seen so far, or is this a change?
  • If the character is changing, what factors or variables are bringing on these changes?
  • Think of the audience for this quote. What might be their reaction?
  • How does this quote advance the plot?
  • What future actions might occur as a result of these words?
  • Say the words aloud. Can we “hear” different interpretations of the message depending upon how it’s said? (Have students alternately emphasize one word over the others).

You can download a recent quote analysis sheet I used for Swindle and adapt it for use with your own novel. Again, I take no credit for this strategy or format, but recommend it whole-heartedly.

Have another idea for Jan’s speedy readers? Leave a comment or drop me a line.

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