Uploaded by Tommy San Jose

Fish Cheeks Lesson Plan

ALEX Lesson Plan
Do You See What I See? Asian or American
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This lesson provided by:
Shonterrius Lawson-Fountain
Midfield City
Midfield City Board Of Education
The event this resource created for:
General Lesson Information
Lesson Plan ID:
Do You See What I See? Asian or American
Interactive unit that encourages students to evaluate the effect of the inclusion of figurative
language in Amy Tan’s nonfiction narrative essay Fish Cheeks paired with the poem Face
It by Janet Wong. This lesson will assist students in understanding the power of language.
Students will be compelled to write by the conclusion of this lesson.
This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.
Associated Standards and Objectives
English Language
41 ) Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word
relationships, and nuances in word meanings. [L.6.5]
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.
b. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., cause/effect,
part/whole, item/category) to better understand each of the words.
c. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with
similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., stingy, scrimping, economical,
unwasteful, thrifty). [L.6.5c]
English Language
18 ) Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic
shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing
ELA2015 (2015)
different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.
Grade: 7
English Language
23 ) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development,
organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and
ELA2015 (2015)
audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined
Grade: 7
in standards 20-22 above.) [W.7.4]
English Language
40 ) Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word
relationships, and nuances in word meanings. [L.7.5]
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 7
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and
mythological allusions) in context. [L.7.5a]
b. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g.,
synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the
words. [L.7.5b]
c. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with
similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., refined, respectful, polite,
diplomatic, condescending). [L.7.5c]
English Language
40 ) Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word
relationships, and nuances in word meanings. [L.8.5]
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 8
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context.
b. Use the relationship between particular words to better
understand each of the words. [L.8.5b]
c. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with
similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm,
persistent, resolute). [L.8.5c]
Local/National NCTEStandards:
1. Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of
themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world to acquire new information, to
respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among
these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of
word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual
12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g. for
learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and exchange of information).
1. I can identify and explain how the use of figurative language creates images and emphasizes the
central idea presented in the texts.
2. I can identify literary devices used by Amy Tan and their effect on the central idea presented in Fish
Cheeks using a Makes Sense Graphic Organizer.
3. I can compare and contrast each authors ‘perspective on culture.
4. I can compose a self-portrait using the “I am” framework to include effective use of imagery and
figures of speech.
1. I can draw conclusions about the effects of Americanism based on information explicitly presented in
the text.
2. I can appreciate the value that lies in other cultures.
3. I can identfiy situational irony.
Preparation Information
Total Duration:
91 to 120 Minutes
Materials and
Ruled Index Cards, Copy of Fish Cheeks text to distribute or project, Pen or pencil, Paper,
Chart paper or Board, Graphic organizer, CD player or other audio device, speakers,
projector (optional), Coding Symbols Guide, Close Reading Guide, Cubes
Technology Resources
Projector, Computer with Internet access
Background/Preparation: Teacher:
Teacher needs to test website links.
Teacher needs to review the song Black or White by Michael Jackson.
Teacher needs to chunk the text Cultural Food Profile.
Students should be able to differentiate between the types of figurative language - simile,
irony, personification, and hyperbole.
Students should be able to differentiate first from third person point of view.
Students should be familiar with the Turn & Talk strategy.
Day 1: Do you celebrate or hide your differences?
1. Allow students three to five minutes to conduct two peer interviews with peers outside of their group using the question
above. Distribute ruled standard-sized index cards to each student. On the front of the index card, students should record
details from their conversation that stood out, made them think, etc. After the completion of the interviews, students
should return to their desk and on the back of their index card reflect on their conversation by thinking about experiences
they share. (Facilitate during this time.)
2. The teacher may now reconvene the whole class to solicit two student responses. Use this to introduce students to
renowned author Amy Tan who learned to appreciate her differences using the profile found on her website.
3. Print the article so that students have a hard copy to code (http://www.amytan.net/about.html).
4. As you read it aloud, ask students to listen for and record information that will assist them in understanding Tan's
motivation as a writer. As you read, pause frequently to give students an opportunity to record their thoughts.
5. Closing: Allow students to take a close look at the Influences section. Have them decide on one that stands out and
then turn and talk within their groups about the possible effects of their chosen influence.
Day 2:
1. Ask students to reflect on what they learned about Amy Tan and think of one word to describe her and use that word in
a sentence of no more than seven words to create a visual. This should spark creativity in word choice. This activity can
be used to review figurative language, specifically, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, similes, and imagery.
2. Show the Figurative language video. (See link.)
3. Reconvene and allow students to participate in a four corners activity. Complete a knowledge rating of the word
custom. Have students rate their knowledge using the following keys:
Thumbs up - I know it and can explain it to someone else
Thumbs to the side - Aware, but need a little clarification
Thumbs down - Tell me what it means, please.
This will assist students in understanding the idea of Americanism later on in the lesson.
4. Ask students if they have ever felt embarrassed because of customs. Assign the following labels to a corner in your
room: never, daily, only on holidays.
5. Distribute the Fish Cheeks Chunked Text (See attachments.)
6. The teacher will tell students that they will be reading aloud using the Popcorn method. With the popcorn reading
method, you select the first reader to read aloud a chunk of text, then that person may select someone else to read, and
the cycle continues until the conclusion of the text. Pause after each chunk to allow students to write down or illustrate
what they see if applicable.
7. At the conclusion of the reading, allow students to turn and talk in their groups to share their reactions to the menu.
8. Distribute the graphic organizer and explain to students how to use it. Complete as a whole class the top section that
asks them to identify types of devices they observed during reading. Now, allow students to locate evidence of the use of
figurative language in the text and explain its effect on their interpretation.
9. Closing: On the back of your graphic organizer, describe the effects of Americanism on Amy Tan as an adolescent and
Day 3:
1. Entrance Pass: Ask students to answer the following questions independently.
Why did the author want a slim new American nose for Christmas?
Why did the author cry when she learned that the minister’s family would attend Christmas Eve dinner?
What did the author want Robert to think of her and her family?
2. Now, introduce the word Americanism to students by having them make a list of American practices within their
groups. Solicit student responses aloud and after three, tell students that they have defined Americanism in their own
words before presenting the denotative definition.
3. Re-distribute copies of the text for students to reference during discussion. Students will take a close look at how Tan's
writing style affects your interpretation.
4. Before questioning, provide each group with a sheet of chart paper that they will use to write down questions they wish
to pose to the class concerning Tan's use of figurative language, the subject, the theme presented, or any other related
topic. Give students no more than seven minutes to pose their questions and post their chart paper on the wall, board,
5. Use the students’ questions along with the ones below to assist them in focusing on how language and the author’s
style emphasize the ideas they present. You may use the questions below to prompt student thinking.
What is the significant event that will be occurring this Christmas?
When the guests arrive, why does the author pretend that Robert is not worthy of existence?
In your opinion, what is the climax in this story?
What do you believe to be the MOST embarrassing experience for the author in this story? Why did you select this
experience? [Turn & Talk to your right shoulder partner]
What gift does Amy receive from her mother? Was her reaction to the gift expected?
What does the gift reveal about the mother?
Analyze the mother’s overall decision in selecting a Chinese menu for Christmas dinner instead of a more American
style menu for the meal. If she understood how her daughter felt, and wanted her daughter to know that she
understood, for what reasons do you feel she opted for a Chinese dinner?
6. Closing: Write a response to the following question: Is the title appropriate for the central idea presented in the text?
Cite text evidence.
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Assessment Formative:
Teacher observation; Student response to questioning
Successful completion of Graphic Organizer (See attachment.)
Students will complete an I Am poem using the template from readwritethink.org. They must effectively
use of figurative language and include at least one example of each of the following literary devices:
hyperbole, simile, metaphor, and onomatopoeia.
Acceleration: Allow students to write an exposition on the importance of accepting their cultural differences.
Allow student to introduce to the class one of their cultural traditions that is appropriate for the academic
setting. This will help build community and help them understand the importance of respecting others.
You may wish to show the Flocabulary Figurative Language video and discuss the printed transcript for
those students who still have difficulty identifying figurative language.
Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified
learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom
assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory,
abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning
or behavior problems.
Presentation of Material
Time Demands
Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter
Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.