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        Connections Between Texts - Maya Lin and Jane Jacobs

        Students write and perform a Readers’ Theater script in which two characters, Maya Lin and Jane Jacobs, talk to each other about their ideas about architecture and life.

        Lesson Summary


        Students watch two segments about two women who have influenced architecture and the physical look of a city. After a class discussion, students will write and perform a Readers' Theater script in which Jacobs and Lin talk to each other about their ideas about architecture and life.

        Why is this an important concept?

        It is important for learners to be able to recognize connections between or among texts so they can identify common themes and conflicting information in their analyses of texts.

        Grade Level:


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        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Students will watch two videos about two women from different times: one who had an impact on the physical look of New York in the 1960's and the other in contemporary times.

        2. Distribute the Connecting Texts Notes handout. Show the first segment, "Maya Lin." Ask students to watch the segment to learn about Maya Lin's architectural work, her identity and how it impacts her design of a new museum. They should take notes as they watch.

        3. Discuss the segment. See Connecting Texts Notes for discussion prompts.

        4. Show segment 2, "Jane Jacobs". Provide a media focus by asking students to note what Jane Jacobs did to influence the structure of New York City in her time.

        5. Discuss the second segment. See Connecting Texts Notes for discussion prompts.

        6. Explain how to write a Readers' Theater script.

        7. Ask students, "What could Lin and Jacobs learn from each other?" Discuss.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:
        • Replay the videos, pausing at intervals to allow students extra time to take notes.
        • Model note-taking as you play part of the video to help students understand how to listen for key ideas.
        • Review some of the vocabulary used in the videos. For example, transnational, divergent, acutely, aesthetic, metaphor.

        Part II: Assessment

        In small groups students will create Readers' Theater scripts in which Lin and Jacobs talk with each other about their ideas about architecture and life in general. Use of Readers' Theater here will encourage students to personalize the connections between the women and, in turn, the two texts as they give voices to the women and texts and allow them to talk to each other. Students will produce a script and perform it. Assess students' comprehension of connecting texts using the Connecting Texts rubric


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