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Parrot in the Oven Response Journal

Context This strategy can be used several times throughout the reading of the novel. However, it would probably work best to use the response journal after reading the first chapter of Parrot in the Oven, because students probably have a lot to say about their initial impression and their feelings about Manny. Also, the things raised in the first chapter will raise a lot of questions about Manny's family, his background, illegal immigrants, etc. Purpose The main purpose of a response journal is to get the students to engage and connect with the text. They do so by thinking about and writing down their thoughts pertaining to the text as well as describing the feelings the text has provoked in them. They are also given the opportunity to ask questions they have about what they've read, which allows further interaction with the text. As students interact with a text in this way, they get more out of it and it becomes more meaningful to them. With Parrot in the Oven, the response journal could lay the base for some classroom discussion on a certain topic. Rather than just being a response journal to anything students can think of, students should be given a question or some ideas from the chapter to consider as a guide while writing their response. For example, you could ask, "What do you think about the main character Manny so far? What is he like? How did you feel when you read about Manny's experience picking peppers in the field? Why?" After writing their thoughts, feelings, and questions related to those ideas, students would be prepared to have a discussion about the same topics. However, the response journal could be used after any chapter of the novel as a means for students to reflect on themes, characters, and events; it allows them to organize their ideas about what they've read, ask questions, and really interact on a personal level with the text. The journals can then be used as a springboard for other assignments like group work, discussion, essays, etc. Directions a) Before using the response journal, students of course need to read the assigned text, which in this case would be chapter 1 of Parrot in the Oven. This strategy is directly connected to the rest of the unit, because it can easily be adapted to any theme or concept having to do with the novel. If you plan to talk about characterization after doing this response journal, you can guide the students to write about their impression of Manny and why they think what they do. This will get them thinking about characterization without them even knowing it, and will allow for a smooth transition to talking about how Victor Martinez characterizes Manny in the novel.

Lewis, BYU, 2009

b) Each student will need a copy of the response journal handout. You will need a transparency copy so you can model for the students how you want them to write in the response journal, as well as provide the guiding questions. c) Step 1: Hand out response journal sheets to students. Explain to students that they're going to be using the journals to help them to think and reflect about the novel, and to find how they can relate to it as well as ask any questions they have. Give students the guiding question about their impression of Manny, and explain that you expect the students to always provide a reason for why they think or feel a certain way (backup from the chapter, personal experience, etc.) This will take about 3 minutes. Step 2: Model the directions just given. Under `Thoughts,' write: "Manny seems to be a hard worker, even though his brother is lazy. He even said that Mexicans are supposed to be hard workers, and he feels he has to live up to that. He also said he feels empty without a job or any schoolwork to do." Under `Feelings,' write: "I felt kind of sorry for all of the Mexicans who got chased away by the police in the chili pepper fields. I don't really understand why they got chased away. I can relate with Manny and Berto though because I have to help my dad pick fruit off trees in our backyard and it's hard work." Under `Questions' write: "what does vato mean in English?" -4 minutes Step 3: Go through each column again, but this time with the class. Ask them what they think about Manny, like "he seems shy," or "he likes baseball." If students are slow to respond, prompt them with questions like, "how did you feel when you read such-and-such?" etc. -4 minutes Step 4: Give students time to fill out their own response journals and add any different thoughts, feelings, or questions they had. Require them to write at least one more thing under each section. -5 minutes. Step 5: Have some students share their responses. Follow up with a lesson on characterization. After introducing the topic, hold a class discussion about how the students' response journals relate to characterization. -10-15 minutes. d) Have students turn in their response journals. Grade them only on whether they filled it out, but provide feedback if the student needs more guidance in writing their responses.

Lewis, BYU, 2009

Response Journal

What is your impression of Manny? How did you feel while you read about the scene in the chili pepper field?

Thoughts

Manny seems to be a hard worker, even though his brother is lazy. He even said that Mexicans are supposed to be hard workers, and he feels he has to live up to that. He also said he feels empty without a job or any schoolwork to do. Plus, it's his idea to go work in the chili pepper fields to make money.

Feelings

Questions

what does vato mean in I felt kind of sorry for all English? of the Mexicans who got chased away by the police in the chili pepper fields. I don't really understand why they got chased away. I can relate with Manny and Berto though because I have to help my dad pick fruit off trees in our backyard and it's hard work. You're back gets sore and you get sunburned if you stay out too long.

Lewis, BYU, 2009

Response Journal

What is your impression of Manny? How did you feel while you read about the scene in the chili pepper fields?

Thoughts

Feelings

Questions

Lewis, BYU, 2009

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Microsoft Word - Eng 378 response journalREVISED.docx