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Asian Stories Book Club #4: Mulan Before the Sword (Disney Prequel by Grace Lin)

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Alaina Bell Gao
Rising Star
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(403)
Choose interactive literary analysis activities, like researching allusions, magnifying syntax, or interviewing the characters, and share them with your classmates as we discuss the book, and then compare the book with the movies and poem!

Class experience

My classes are largely focused on higher thinking skills. By engaging with the novel actively, the students will focus on characterization, themes, the author's powerful choices (diction, sentence style, etc.), and practice using literary words like simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, etc. They will develop critical thinking skills and presentation skills.

Ontario (Canadian) Curriculum:

1.4 demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details

1.5 make inferences about texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts as evidence

1.6 extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them

1.7 analyse texts and explain how specific elements in them contribute to meaning (e.g., narrative: characters, setting, main
idea, problem/challenge and resolution, plot development

1.8 express opinions about the ideas and information in texts and cite evidence from the text to support their opinions

2.3 communicate in a clear, coherent manner, presenting ideas, opinions, and information in a readily understandable form

2.4 identify various elements of style – including alliteration, descriptive adjectives and adverbs, and sentences of different types, lengths, and structures – and explain how they help communicate meaning (e.g., alliteration and rhythm can emphasize ideas or help convey a mood or sensory impression)

American Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.2
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1.A
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1.B
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1.C
Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1.D
Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.4
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.5
Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
Homework Offered
Prior to each class, each student must read that week's chapters and prepare to lead part of the discussion. I will ask you to choose a role after you sign up. Join early to get your pick of the roles! Then, you will receive a new role each week. ROLES: Writer Reporter Magnifier Word Master Theme Tracker Librarian Connector Predictor The students will use our class site to share guiding notes, quotations, or passages to help them guide the discussion, but they can also prepare a small PowerPoint presentation to share each week (optional). LibreOffice is free and has a great Presentation program. The students can upload their presentation files to the class site or have them open on their screens for screen-sharing. (Tip: I recommend saving files as PDFs so the slides will look the same when they are opened on other computers.) SCHEDULE: Lesson 1: Read chapters 1 to 10 Lesson 2: Read chapters 11 to 20 Lesson 3: Read chapters 21 to 30 Lesson 4: Read chapters 31 to 40 Lesson 5: Read chapters 41 to 50 Lesson 6: Read chapters 51 to 60 Lesson 7: Read chapters 61 to 69 + the Epilogue Lesson 8: Watch the Mulan movies (Disney); We'll also read the "Ballad of Mulan" together in class. *This last lesson will be slightly different from previous ones because we will focus on the production choices rather than written words and sentences.
2 - 4 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
Grades Offered
All learners must have access to Grace Lin's novel, Before the Sword, and to the Disney Mulan movies. The live-action movie is optional based on availability.  

The students will use our class site to share guiding notes, quotations, or passages to help them guide the discussion, but they can also prepare a small PowerPoint presentation to share each week (optional). LibreOffice is free and has a great Presentation program. The students can upload their presentation files to the class site or have them open on their screens for screen-sharing. (Tip: I recommend saving files as PDFs so the slides will look the same when they are opened on other computers.)
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
This novel mentions childhood abuse and manipulation as a background to why one character becomes a villain but it's not at the forefront of the story.
Rising Star
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(403)
Profile
Hi! My name is Alaina Bell Gao, and I am an experienced Canadian English teacher with 15+ years of professional teaching experience. As a dedicated, creative, gentle, and patient neurodivergent teacher, many neurodiverse learners thrive in my... 
Group Class

$18

weekly or $180 for 10 classes
1x per week, 10 weeks
50 min

Completed by 7 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 10-15
2-6 learners per class

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