Beacon Lesson Plan Library

I'm a Little Crab Pot

Dawn Capes
Bay District Schools


Students delve more deeply into figurative language and conflict/resolution as they complete the novel, Jacob Have I Loved.


The student recognizes complex elements of plot, including setting, character development, conflicts, and resolutions.

The student understands various elements of authors' craft appropriate at this grade level, including word choice, symbolism, figurative language, mood, irony, foreshadowing, flashback, persuasion techniques, and point of view in both fiction and nonfiction.

The student responds to a work of literature by interpreting selected phrases, sentences, or passages and applying the information to personal life.


Day 11, of the unit [Jacob Have I Loved]
-Copies of the Group Activity, Thatís My Point of View and Iím Sticking To It! (One handout per group. Available in Associated File)
-Transparency of the Group Activity, Thatís My Point of View and Iím Sticking To It!
-Updated bulletin board or table (see Associated File)

Day 12
-Copy of the Group Activity, Iím Still Sticking to My Point Of View! ! (One handout per group. Available in Associated File)
-Transparency of the Group Activity, Thatís My Point of View and Iím Still Sticking To It!

Day 13
-Copies of Summative #1 Expectations (See Extensions) One per person
-Transparency of Summative #1 Expectations
-Transparency of Journal Questions for Chapters 16-17

Day 15
-Questions and Answer key for Jacobíardy (See Extensions)
-White Board

Day 16
-Summative Assessment #1 (One copy per student) See Extensions

Days 17-21
-Summative Assessment #2 (One copy per student) See Extensions
-Digital Camera (s)
-Computers to run PowerPoint on
-Display system (TV or Projection screen) hooked to your computer
-Volunteers to help with picture taking (may be other students from another class, high school students seeking to gain community credits, parents, etc.)


1. Make transparencies of appropriate handouts. (See materials list.)

2. Make copies of student handouts (See materials list.)

3. For Day 15, print the questions and answers for the Jacobíardy. Then, write the points on the board. As students get the answers, erase the category. They will need to be refilled in for the next class. Iím sure you can get a student who will happily do this for you!

4. For Day 16, print Summative Assessment #1 for each student. (See Extensions for the link to this assessment.)

5. For Days 17-21, print the appropriate handouts for Summative Assessment #2. (See Extensions for the link to this assessment.) Be aware that this is an involved assessment that will take strong classroom management on the teacherís part. But, students will love the interaction that will occur with the technology, each other, and the text.

6. Update the bulletin board or table using the items available in the Associated File.


Day 11 of the unit, [Jacob Have I Loved]
1. Return formatively assessed work from previous days.

2. Review concepts (content and literary techniques) from previous days.

(Optional- use the new visual display to begin a discussion with student. Ideas for display included in associated file. For example, Who dies? Who gets married? What could Romans 9:13 be referring to?

3. Have students read Chapters 14-15. Ask content questions as appropriate. They should update their character, setting and conflict/resolution sheets. (Especially of note- Grandmotherís mental changes and Callís physical changes.) As students work, walk around formatively assessing their responses. Use the appropriate answer keys for guidance.

4. Note the quote at the end of Chapter 14, ďJacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.Ē

5. Divide students into at least 6 groups (or have more groups and have some groups answering the same questions from the handout, Thatís My Point of View and Iím Sticking To It. This would invite different answers to the same question.)

6. Students should be reminded of proper group etiquette. They should choose a recorder and presenter. All students participate in the discussion. Use the answer key to guide student answers or work.

7. Once students finish the activity, they should present their answers. Again, use the answer key to guide student answers or work.

8. (OPTIONAL) Use Exit Slips for Chapters 14-15.

Day 12
1. Review content questions of novel to date. See if students see any examples of foreshadowing between Call and Caroline. For example, Caroline's comment on page 172, "My Call we sure do miss you." could be seen as interest on her part. Why doesn't Sara Louise realize it? Also, on page 183, Call turns the color of "steamed crabs" when Caroline makes a comment to him. finally, on page 204, before Sara Louise learns they are to be married, she mentions that Caroline is at Julliard, and Call already knows. Ask students if they think this is foreshadowing.

2. Todayís activity acts as a review for Summative Assessment 2.

3. Divide students into groups of 4 or 3. There will be some groups who are doing the same scene.

4. Use the transparency for the activity, Iím Still Sticking To My Point of View to explain the assignment. Also, read to students the sample provided. (Note: This is just a sample. If you think it will be intimidating to your students, donít read it! Use your best judgment.)

5. Review proper group etiquette. Give students time to prepare, but be sure to leave at least 5 minutes per group to present.

6. After students have presented, have them turn in their individual point of views for formative assessment.

Day 13
1. Share Summative #1 expectations with students. Explain that there will be a review of content and techniques after the class has completed reading the novel.

2. Then, read Chapters 16-17. Update character, setting and conflict/resolution sheets. Ask content questions as appropriate. Be sure to update Call, Sara Louise and the mother. As students are updating, be sure to walk around formatively assessing their answers using the answer keys and your own knowledge of the book for guidance.

3. Items for discussion:
What do we learn about Sara Louiseís character? (Answers may vary, but students may suggest sheís smarter than she thinks and is happily surprised when she earns such high marks on her exams.)
How has the Grandmother changed emotionally? (Answers may vary, but students may suggest sheís become childlike and more absent minded.) On page 197-198, Sara Louise says, "Suddenly that summer she decided that my mother was the woman who had stolen her husband." Does this imply that the Grandmother's husband had been stolen away? Is that why he is no longer in the family? Could this explain some of the Grandmother's actions and comments?

4. Ask students to journal their responses to the Journal Questions for Chapters 16-17.

5. Ask students if anyone would like to share their answer to number 2. (Students may not since they may be very personal answers.)

6. (OPTIONAL) Exit slips for chapters 16-17.

Day 14
1. Complete reading of novel.

2. Examine the quote on page 31 ďI was as shiny as a new crab pot, all set to capture the world.Ē Discuss this quotes meaning in terms of the crab pot being metaphorical for Sara Louise.Ē (Answers may vary, but students may suggest - She has a new attitude about herself and her abilities. Sheís seeing life in a new way. Starting life over.) Ask students if they can apply this quote to their own lives. Give them an opportunity to share through writing, verbally, etc.

3. Further discussion-
Who dies in Chapter 19? Grandmother and the Captain
Where did Sara Louise put the weak twin after it was born? The oven
Did this surprise students? Why?
Did you think Sara Louise would forget about the stronger twin? What were you hoping would happen?
Did the book end the way students wanted?
How do they feel Sara Louise changed?
Do all the conflicts have resolutions? (No. For instance, there was always conflict with the grandmother and while Sara Louise may have made peace with it. Was there resolution between she AND her grandmother?)
Did they like the book?

4. Students should update their character, setting and conflict/resolution sheets. These should be placed in student folders along with all journal entries. These will be formatively assessed by the teacher and returned PRIOR to the Summative Assessment.

5. Exit slips for end chapters.

Day 15
1. Review Summative 1 expectations and state it will be given the following day.

Note: The game here is optional. It will be fun and a neat way to review, but students may still do well with less of a review.

2. Play ďJacobĒardy for review of novel and literary techniques.

3. Divide students into two groups. It can be boys versus girls, one side versus another or split up by numbering students one, two and having them divide. In order to ensure that everyone gets to play, it is suggested that each student has to answer a question. To start the game, flip a coin to decide which side goes first. If a student does not get the answer, it goes to the other team. If the other team gets the answer, they earn the points and the next question.

Day 16
Give Summative #1.

Days -17-21

Day 17
Introduce Summative Assessment #2 (see Extensions for link to Assessment Instructions). Spend time reviewing organization, drafting, proper writing (focus, complete, organized, specific, etc.) and grammar of the writing being created in steps 2 and 3. Have students begin their work.

Days 18-19
Students work on the assessment. Be sure to observe students as they work on their PowerPoints and digital pictures. The standard indicates that they should be able to incorporate an audiovisual aid in their presentation. Providing assistance in this stage would be an acceptable form of Formative Assessment.

Days 20 and 21
Students present their work.
Summative #2


Formative Assessment occurs each day. Answer keys can be used to guide answers. See Procedures for further clarification.

Summative Assessments take place on two separate occasions. Students have had multiple opportunities to show what they know via the formative assessments. By the time the Summative Assessments come around, students should be very familiar with the content of the novel and how to apply that to the standards.


Note- This is written for grades 6-8; however, it should be noted that 6th and 7th graders may need additional assistance with some of the terminology and activities such as figurative language, word choice, etc. Use student textbooks or a book such as [Reader's Handbook: A Student Guide for Reading and Learning]. Great Source Education Group a Houghton Mifflin Company. 2002.
This book can be very helpful in providing definitions, practice, and examples of the literary terms in this unit.

1. ESOL students can be paired with a reading buddy, have a version of the novel in their native language (if available), an audio tape of the novel (this can be created by the teacher), and additional reading time.

2. Depending on the needs of your students, you may need to implement reading strategies to ensure students comprehend the content of the novel. You are the best judge of what will be best for your students. The site Just Read Now at has a plethora of reading strategies. Go to Reading Strategies and Active Reading Strategies.)

3. Instead of using the handouts in the attached file, note the necessary information and have students write on their own notebook paper.

4. Involve your social studies or science teacher! Use the complementary science and social studies units and make it an integrated approach!
**The science unit, entitled Twin Traits, explores the idea of twins and if they are more impacted by their environment or by their genetics. Students learn about twins that have been separated at birth and how alike and unalike they are.
**The social studies unit, World War II, explores background information of World War II and how it impacted America. Students create radio broadcasts simulating the way many people received their information during this time period.
**A discussion guide is provided in the Unit Plan's Associated Files.

5. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or going to: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files, (if any).

6. It may be helpful to give students a target as they are reading. Write the exit slip and journal entry questions on the overhead or white board before students enter the room.

Web Links

Web supplement for Iím a Little Crab Pot
Just Read Now

Use this link to reach the unit that can be integrated with Jacob Have I Loved- A Novel study.
Twin Traits

Attached Files

Handouts for lesson four     File Extension: pdf

Visuals for lesson four     File Extension: pdf

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