In class, we gathered students in small groups. We chose the groups according to their strengths; for example, my students who had strong vocabularies were placed in the Linguistic group; students with a good foundation in history were in the Context group, etc. Each group was given a lens along with guiding questions. See the questions here. They performed a close reading on the text, then reported their findings to the class.
Though the ultimate goal here is to have the students use a variety of lens to deeply understand a text, using a specific lens helps them to focus on certain aspects of the text, in essence, it assists the students in deconstructing the text in manageable pieces.
I'd love to say that this lesson was a roaring success, however, it would be closer to reality to say that it is a work in progress. It may be valuable to teach each lens separately; to have students master one idea before moving on to the next.
I especially loved teaching the Linguistic Lens. Language excites me and I love to share that excitement with my students. Also, the Metaphoric Lens would be wonderful to use with a work that is rich in figurative language. In the future, I think that I will choose works that lend themselves to a specific view while teaching that method. Once the students have a good understanding of each viewpoint, we can have them practice on more challenging works.