Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Aha Moment

Today, we'll look at "Aha Moment" which is yet another signpost from Notice and Note.  Aha moment always reminds me of when a light bulb goes off for a character; he or she has some realization and then changes some of their behaviors or decisions based on their new realization.  Check out Brent Peterson's video below for more information!

This strategy immediately made me think of Lynne Kelly's Chained.  My previous co-teacher and I always describe Chained as The One and Only Ivan meets Boys Without Names.  If you have not read Chained, I would highly recommend it!  (See the work Dumbilli did in a conference while working with Chained)

The main character, Hastin, is looking to assist his family because his sister is dealing with an illness and his mother is already working all hours of the day to try to support her family.  Hastin finally lands a job with a circus and he believes that this is the answer his family needs.  As time passes, Hastin experiences an "Aha Moment" as he realizes that the circus owner does not have the animals' best interests in mind nor the best interests of his employees.  Hastin's working for the good of the circus before he comes to this realization, but his focus of what is most important to him shifts drastically after his thoughts of the circus owner also changes.

Brent Peterson touched upon the idea that a character's behavior following an "Aha Moment" will often lead a reader to better understand the central idea (he said "theme") of a story.  This is challenging work for many students, but another great example of how the signposts can offer support in raising the level of thinking of our readers!

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