Monsters Are Out There!


L.9-10.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9—10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
L.9-10.4.a Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
L.9-10.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
L.9-10.4.b Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (e.g., analyze, analysis, analytical; advocate, advocacy).
L.9-10.4.d Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
L.9-10.4.c Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, or its etymology.
L.9-10.5.b Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.




Learning Target

Scholars will create their own definition of the word “monster,” examining what it means to be a monster, and look at the poem “Jabberwocky” to determine the meaning of words based on context, in addition to searching for their dictionary definitions.

Work Session

I hope you guys are psyched about our new unit, because I sure am! This is one of my favorite units so far, and I’m really excited to be teaching it to y’all. It’s all about….MONSTERS! I know, I know, I’m awesome, please hold your applause.

Anyway, today I would like to start out by asking YOU all a question! On a little sheet of colored paper, I would like each of you to define the word “Monster” for me. What does it mean? What makes a monster? We will read these definitions together and see if we can come up with some notes about what you guys think it means to be a monster… I’ll post them here!

Afterwards, we’re going to read an article called “What Makes a Monster” by Donald Fergus, in which the author tries to answer that very question. To read this article, we’re going to use the SQUEEPERS method. We’ve done this before, so maybe it’ll be familiar to some of you. But, if not, here’s the drill:

-Preview the text
-Look at the pictures/captions
-Read highlighted/ bold words
-Read headings/subheadings
-Think about what you are about to read

-Generate questions that we will be able to answer after we read (or look at questions on a test)

-Predict 1 to 3 things we will learn while reading

-With teacher
-With partner
-With a group

-Discuss which questions were answered
-Review which questions weren’t answered
-Eliminate questions that aren’t likely to be answered
-Develop new questions
-Continue surveying process

Summarize what we have learned
Sounds relatively easy, right?

Next up, we’re going to read a poem called “Jabberwocky,” the same one that we saw the Muppets perform earlier! This poem is about a monster called the Jabberwock. We will go through each stanza together, and as we do, I would like you to write on your paper (below your article summary) what is going on. When we’re finished, we’ll see if we have a consensus on what Lewis Carroll is saying.

Closing Session

Finally, I would like you all to answer these three questions:

What is the mood or tone of the poem? What are three adjectives Lewis Carroll uses to set the scene?
Why is the Jabberwock dangerous? Why is it impressive that the boy killed the monster? List three words Lewis Carroll uses to tell you these things.
(this is the hard one) Look up all six of the words you used above and write down their definitions as the dictionary gives them to you.
When this is turned in, we’re done for the day! YAY!


Graded Ticket Out The Door (Jabberwocky questions)
Monster definition / informal assessment of participation in discussion.


Students can use a variety of technologies to find definitions of the words in Jabberwocky, the article text can be differentiated to appeal to different reading levels, monster definitions are student-generated.

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