Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Only Person Superstitious Is Huck Finn

Laura Childers
Santa Rosa District Schools

Description

Students interview people from three different age groups about superstition including what they believe and why they believe it. This may correspond with reading the beginning of HUCK FINN.

Objectives

The student drafts and revises writing that: is focused, purposeful, and reflects insight into the writing situation; has an organizational pattern that provides for a logical progression of ideas; has effective use of transitional devices that contribute to a sense of completeness; has support that is substantial, specific, relevant, and concrete; demonstrates a commitment to and involvement with the subject; uses creative writing strategies as appropriate to the purpose of the paper; demonstrates a mature command of language with precision of expression; has varied sentence structure; and has few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, punctuation, and spelling.

The student uses effective strategies for informal and formal discussions, including listening actively and reflectively, connecting to and building on the ideas of a previous speaker, and respecting the viewpoints of others.

The student applies oral communication skills to interviews, group presentations, formal presentations, and impromptu situations.

Materials

-Paper
-Writing Utensil
-Twain, Mark. THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN for each student (optional)

Preparations

1. Start reading HUCK FINN.
2. Have a list of common and uncommon superstitions handy in case you need to interject during discussion. For instance, those who enjoy car racing are superstitious that the color green will give them bad luck. Find out what certain athletic groups in your school do in terms of luck for a game.
3. Arrange a time for research in the media center.

Procedures

1. (optional) Ask students to find examples of superstition in the first nine chapters of HUCK FINN.

2. Ask students to define superstition and give examples of superstitions.

3. Ask students if they are superstitious and what superstitions they believe in. If students do not respond as stating they are superstitious ask how many eat black-eyed peas for New Year's or have a good luck charm.

4. Tell students to do informal research on superstitions and how they came about either by encyclopedias, Internet use, or library books. Set aside a class period to allow students to do this in the media center.

5. Tell students that their next task is to interview six individuals outside of their immediate family--two from each age group of 5-30, 30-49, and 50+.

6. Tell students to ask each person if they believe in superstitions, why, and what superstitions they believe.(NOTE: If they find someone who does not believe in superstitions, they should ask why, and the student may include this in their final paper. However, because the assignment is to find those who are superstitious, they must continue their interviews until they find the required number.)

7. With each person they interview, they should include the name, the place of employment, where the person grew up, and the age.

8. Students should write their findings as if they were a newspaper article to inform.

9. Share the assessment guidelines with the students.

10. Teacher assesses assignment.

Assessments

Use the following to assess the student's paper concerning the findings about superstitions. Use a three level scale: 3=outstanding, 2=acceptable, 1=see me and then you can redo.

Writing Rubric
Does not reflect understanding

All six individuals have been interviewed with name, age and occupation.

Article includes an understanding of superstitions and informs reader.

There are enough specific details or examples to support ideas presented.

Writing avoids any unnecessary words or sentences.


Dialogue form of quotation marks is used correctly.

Student provides his/her own insight into new information found in interviews.

There is a clear thesis or point the student is attempting to make.

Little or no errors in terms of punctuation or grammar.


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