H.O.T.S. Study Guide/Common Core Compatible (Downloadable)

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Higher Order Thinking Skill Study Guide for The Lion of Rora

by Jeanene Burris

All students will be required to keep an interactive notebook for this novel analysis.

This study guide will move from being teacher-led to student-led.  It is important once the modeling process has taken place for students to take ownership.  Student assigned groups will work on days 7 and 8 producing a presentation for the class.  Group presentations will be given on days 9, 10, and 11.  The culminating activity for the graphic novel will take place on day 12.

Day 1

Show video clips alluding to:

  • the Protestant reformation (i.e. the BBC series Wolf Hall).
  • the French Revolution (i.e. Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst).
  • the American Revolution (i.e. The Patriot with Mel Gibson).

Socratic seminar questions to ask pertaining to these clips:

  1. What do all of these clips have in common?
  2. What type of individuals were involved with these movements?  In other words, what qualities did the leaders, as depicted in these clips, possess?  Offer evidence from the clips to substantiate your opinion.

Project the book cover to The Lion of Rora.  Have students, using their best grammatical skills, write a brief interpretation of the cover including the

a. setting

b. main character

c. tone

d. mood

  • This will highlight the use of Standard RL7 and the use of multi-media.  Students will understand the importance of the art when they truly contemplate that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Have students save these descriptions for a culminating discussion at the conclusion of the unit.  The teacher may even close the unit having students perform the same activity as at the beginning, to see how their perceptions of the main character have changed. The discussion would focus on their changes in depth of perception.

Day 2

    1. The teacher will read through with students following along Section I (pages 9-16).  Students will mark any questionable panels.  Students will work collaboratively.  They will discuss any questionable panels, and then they will collectively comprise a three to five sentence summary of Section I.  A whole-group discussion will take place at the end of this activity. (25 minutes)

2. Questions for students to complete independently:

a. What is the central idea (RL2) of this section?  Provide textual evidence to support your answer.

b. Who is the protagonist?  What qualities does the protagonist possess? (RL1) Provide textual evidence to support your answer.

c. What is the tone of section I? (RL1)  Provide textual evidence to support your answer. * It will be interesting to note if students pick up on using the art itself as evidence of the tone.  If they do not, the teacher should lead them into that discovery.

d. Why is the medallion significant?  (RL1)

The completion of these questions should take 20 minutes.  Close the class by reiterating the main points that came from the “summary” discussion and inform students that the class will begin tomorrow with a discussion of the independent questions.  That discussion of the question will serve as a review of what the students have already read.

Day 3

  1.  Discuss questions from previous lesson.  (10 minutes)
  2.  Teacher will read through Section II (pages 17-24) with students following along. Students will be asked to define the following terms from the context of the story in their own words: archer, generously, constitutes, illegal, assembly, penalty, violating, repentance, plead, mercy, pride, spoils, peasant.  Upon completion, have a small-group discussion referencing the terms and deciding on the best definition for each term. The whole class will then discuss these terms to ensure all students have an understanding of the terms. (RL4) (The total time for activity 2 is 35 minutes.)
  1.  Have grouped students map a summary of section 2.  (6 to 7 points; RL 2)  This should take 5 minutes. Have a brief whole-class discussion of the summaries. (5 minutes)
  1.  Questions for students to complete independently (if these are not completed in class, either assign for homework or allow the first 10 minutes of tomorrow’s class for completion):

a. Who is the antagonist and why does he oppose Joshua, the protagonist? (RL3)

b. What does the term “passed” mean on page 18, and why does the author choose to use this term? (RL5,6)  The teacher can springboard into a discussion of the figurative language term of euphemism.  For students with culturally diverse backgrounds, this could prove to be a valuable discussion in helping them understand the intricacies of the English language.   

c. How does he protagonist change from the beginning of Section II to the end?  Use textual evidence to support your answer. (RL3)

Day 4

1.Whole-group discussion of  independent questions from Day 3 as a review for the storyline. (10 minutes) Students will be separated into groups of four to complete activities for Section III.

2. Because this is a short section (pages 25-28), the student will be responsible for reading the text marking unfamiliar or questionable words. (10 minutes)  Assigned groups will work together to define the following terms: conformed, transformed, renewing, begat, strife. Students in each group may add any words they found troublesome to the list.  Whole-class discussion of the vocabulary will follow the group activity.  (20 minutes)

3. Students will individually write a one-sentence summary of this section and then discuss in small-group setting. (RL2) Tomorrow’s class will begin with a whole-group discussion of these summaries.

4. What one quality of Joshua’s stands out in this section?  Use textual evidence to support your answer. (RL1)

Days 5 and 6

  1. Whole-group discussion of one-sentence summaries of Section III.  Teacher should help students focus on how Joshua has changed since the beginning of the novel. (RL3) (5 minutes)
  1.  The teacher should choose students to read the parts of the various characters in Section IV (pages 29-42).  (20 minutes)  Upon completion of the first read, students will, within their small groups, collaboratively and contextually define the following terms: heretics, preoccupied, counsel, fealty, quarters, rogue, allegiance, despise, injurious, decreed, crusade, absolution.  (RL4) (20 minutes) A whole-group discussion of these terms will follow. (10 minutes)
  1.  Students will begin a whole-class summation in the format of a flowchart for Section IV. (RL2)   Depending on the capability of the class, the teacher may need to give clues.  There should be 10 items in this listing. This flowchart should be replicated by each student and added to the interactive notebook.  (20 minutes)
  1.  Questions for students to answer independently:

a. Why did the “royals” view the Waldenses as dangerous? (RL1) Use textual evidence to support your answer.

b. Is Joshua stubborn? (RL1) Give textual evidence to support you answer.  Explain why you think this is a positive or negative quality for Joshua to possess.

c. Are words necessary to convey ideas clearly? Explain your answer based on Section III (RL 1, RL7).

d. Use one word to describe the main idea of of Section III.  Use the text to support your answer.  (RL2)

Allow students 30 minutes to answer questions.  Upon completion, the class will discuss the answers.  

Days 7 and 8

Teacher will assign students to nine groups.  Each group will  have two class periods to prepare a presentation for a given section.

Each presentation will contain a vocabulary (RL 4,5), summation (RL2), and text analysis (RL1, RL3, RL6) activity.  The text analysis component should somehow involve students creating questions that reflect the language of the Common Core Standards (CCS). The presentation should have some sort of technology component also, such as Kahoot or quizlet.

The teacher will create, with the input of the students, and use a rubric to assess each group.  Groups will also use the rubric to assess each other.

The sections will be divided as follows:

Section IV- pages 43-59

Section V- pages 60-68

Section VI- pages 69-84

Section VII- pages 85-97

Section VIII- pages 98-107

Section IX- pages 108-119

Section X- pages 120-129

Section XI- pages 130-143

Section XII- pages 144-157

Days 9,10, and 11

Presentations will be given.  If needed, day 12 can be used to complete presentations and for follow-up on the presentations.

Days 13 and 14

  1. The teacher will read through the final section of the story while students follow along.  Students will contextually define the following terms:  (10 minutes)

fiasco, compromise, diplomacy, proclamation, suffice

A whole-group discussion will of the vocabulary terms will occur upon completion. (5 minutes)

  1. Each student will be responsible for writing a summary (RL2) of the last section. The whole class will discuss the summaries allowing the teacher to formatively assess whether students understand summarizing and picking the details that are most important to the summary.  (30 minutes)
  1. Collaborative/ small-group questions

a. How did the author choose to end the story?  In other words, is the ending conclusive or open-ended?  Explain your answer using the text (specific phrases) to support your answer.  Why do you think the author chose to end the story in this way?

b. What is a possible theme for this story?  (RL2) Use textual evidence to support your answer.

c. How does The Lion of Rora reflect the components of plot structure? Include exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

Independent activity

d. Have students write another description of the cover for The Lion of Rora.  Return the original descriptions.  Have students exchange their original descriptions along with the updated description. Peers will critique each other noting how understanding has grown. The teacher will conduct a whole-group discussion upon completion of the critiquing process.  (Total time for part 3 should be 60 minutes)

The remainder of the class will be used for a review and preparation for the summative assessment, which will occur tomorrow (Day 15).  The assessment should contain both objective (multiple-choice) and open-ended questions reflective of Common Core Standards.      

On Day 15, the students will generate their own summative assessment. As they have worked through the novel, they have been exposed to H.O.T.S. questions (asking why and how) that they can use as a guide. There should be a section of multiple-choice questions, at least 25 at 3 points apiece, followed by 5 open-ended questions at 5 points each.   If the students are allowed to formulate these questions, not only does it enhance the learning, but it also promotes a sense of educational ownership.

Extension:  Students, after additional research, will write a 5-paragraph theme on if/how the Waldenses influenced the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, and the American Revolution .

DOWNLOAD The 15-Day Lion Of Rora Study Guide

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