This lesson has students connect the theme of sadness and mindfulness in both a short story fiction text and a nonfiction text to explore the socio-emotional development of characters. This lesson includes optional modifications for distance learning.
How does a character’s state of mind affect their development and the development of the theme in a text?
In response to a video, students will complete a quick-write prompt, “How do you deal with uncertain times?”
Students will be placed into groups and then given images to analyze using the It’s OPTIC-AL strategy. Students will share out the overall mood/impression the images create and explain how they came to their conclusions.
Students will read “The Scarlet Ibis” and analyze key scenes for word choice and mood. Students will focus on the character of Brother and how the audience is made to feel about this character through word choice and mood. Students will engage in a whole class discussion after the reading to discuss the character of Brother.
Students will read an article on how mindfulness changes the way we process sadness and use the Why-Lighting strategy to connect to “The Scarlet Ibis.”
Students will create a two voice poster where Brother has a conversation with someone else who can provide him insights/ways to process his sadness. Options for the other character will be provided. A rubric can be used to evaluate the posters.
Lesson Slides- Being Mindful of Sadness in “The Scarlet Ibis” (attached)
It’s OPTIC-AL Digital Images- Being Mindful of Sadness in “The Scarlet Ibis” (attached; digital version or one per group)
Text Analysis Chart- Being Mindful of Sadness in “The Scarlet Ibis” (attached; one per student)
Says/Matters Chart- Being Mindful of Sadness in “The Scarlet Ibis” (attached; one per student)
Two Voices Poster-Being Mindful of Sadness in “The Scarlet Ibis” (attached; digital version or one per student)
Processing Emotions Poster-Being Mindful of Sadness in “The Scarlet Ibis” (attached; digital version or one per student)
A Conversation with Brother Rubric- Being Mindful of Sadness in “The Scarlet Ibis” (attached)
Self Care Tips Rubric- Being Mindful of Sadness in “The Scarlet Ibis” (attached)
“The Scarlet Ibis” story (digital version on Actively Learn; one per student)
“11 Self-Care Tips for Teens and Young Adults” (digital article; one per student)
K20 Center. [n.d.]. It’s OPTIC-AL. Strategy. (digital version or one per group)
Pens or pencils
Begin the lesson by reviewing the lesson’s essential question on slide 3 and the learning objective on slide 4.
Show slide 5. Have students write a timed response using the Quick Write strategy, to the following prompt: How do you deal with uncertain times? After providing three minutes for students to write, ask for volunteers to share out their responses to the whole class.
Show slide 6 and play the video on mental health counseling. Be sure to click full screen for each video to ensure proper size when viewing.
Show slide 7 and watch the career talk on social work with Jessica Schonlau.
After watching the videos, discuss with students how mental health counseling and therapists can help people deal with uncertain times.
Show slide 8.
Place students in groups. Have each group work collaboratively to analyze one of the images in slides 9-13 using the strategy It’s OPTIC-AL to determine the overall impression (mood) created by the image. Provide each group with one of the following images and the strategy card to complete the activity.
Slide 9 depicts an image titled Uganda by Cliffannie Forrester.
Slide 10 depicts an image titled The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso.
Slide 11 depicts an image titled The Church at Auvers by Vincent van Gogh.
Slide 12 depicts an image titled The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí.
Slide 13 depicts an image titled Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.
After the groups have analyzed their assigned images, have each group share out to the whole class their assigned image and the overall impression/mood it creates, explaining how they came to their conclusions.
Show slide 14. Provide “The Scarlet Ibis” text to students. Ask students to focus on the emotional state of Brother, the main character, as they read the story.
How do you know what he is feeling throughout the story?
How do his emotions change throughout the story?
What do his emotions tell us about the theme(s) in the story?
After reading, provide a copy of the Text Analysis Chart to each student (slide 15). Have students complete the chart, looking for key scenes that show Brother’s emotions. You may choose to provide these scenes to students.
Show slide 16. Hand out a copy of Says/Matters Chart to each student or have them create the chart on a piece of paper. Tell students they will watch a video and read the article “11 Self-Care Tips for Teens and Young Adults” in order to make connections between self-care concepts and “The Scarlet Ibis.” Instruct them to add anything they find that connects the video and the article to the story to their chart. Slide 17 includes a link to the video if you choose to watch it together as a class.
After watching the video and reading the article, have students either pair up or place them into small groups to share their charts and discuss the connections they made between the article and the short story.
Show slide 18. Explain the two options to students for them to show what they have learned about both “The Scarlet Ibis” and mental health. Instruct them to create individual posters, using one of two options. Choose Option 1 (slide 19) or Option 2 (slide 20) from the descriptions below.
Slide 19: Create a poster where Brother has a conversation with someone else who provides him with some insight into or ways to process his sadness. Choices: Mom, Dad, Aunt Nicey, a friend, or a counselor
. Use the A Conversation with Brother Rubric to evaluate this assignment.
Slide 20: Create a poster providing a specific tip for someone in class who may be having a difficult time processing their feelings. Then, choose a character from the story and write a paragraph explaining how that character can change or add to the purpose stated in the poster. Use the Self Care Tip Rubric to evaluate this assignment.
Bereson, G. (2019, May 5). 11 self care tips for teens and young adults. The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds. https://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/11-self-care-tips-for-teens-and-young-adults/
Dali, S. (1931). The Persistence of memory [Online image]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Persistence_of_Memory
Forrester, C. (2016). Uganda [Online image]. https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2016/ps-art-2016/works-of-art
Hopper, E. (1942). Nighthawks [Online image]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nighthawks_(painting)
Hurst, James (July 1960). The Scarlet ibis. ActivelyLearn. https://read.activelylearn.com/#teacher/reader/authoring/preview/816689/notes
K20 Center. (n.d.). Quick Write. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/1127
K20 Center. (n.d.). It’s OPTIC-AL. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/99
K20 Center. (2021, January 8). Social Worker - Jessica Schonlau - Zoom Into Your Career [video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD9roYUbBGw&feature=youtu.be
K20 Center. (n.d.). Why-Lighting. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/128
K20 Center. (n.d.). Padlet. Tech Tools. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/tech-tool/1077
K20 Center. (n.d.). Google Classroom. Tech Tools. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/tech-tool/628
K20 Center. (n.d.). Genially. Tech Tools. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/tech-tool/2445
Milne, P. (2011, June 28). Scarlet ibis [image]. Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/48307594@N00/6037953333
NYU Steinhardt (2014, Oct. 2). What is mental health counseling? [video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpsQX4nxZUI
Picasso, P. (1904). The Old guitarist [Online image]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Old_Guitarist
Van Gogh, V. (1890). The Church at Auvers [Online image]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_arts