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Character Analysis Teacher Resources
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Have your class create biopoems after reading chapter 24 of Jerry Spinelli's Milkweed. In groups, they make a list of characteristics for one character in the book (consider assigning characters based on how much information is provided for each), and create a biopoem. After doing one as a small group, they work individually to create their own biopoem. A template is included for the biopoem, but consider letting more advanced writers blend this information into a well-written poem of their own.
"How can a magazine reflect a particular time and culture?" Using this prompt, your class explores the Victorian Era as it relates to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. They can also play the "Victorian Women's Rights" game for the year 1840 via the Internet Public Library. A lesson extension reinforces citing textual evidence from the novel. For middle schoolers, you could use excerpts from the novel or focus on only a few of the activities in the lesson.
Explore historical portraits through art, world history, and drama. Budding thespians view websites featuring historical portraits, then choose a person of interest to research. They role play the part of this historical figure and engage in conversation with classmates portraying other people of the past. This is a wonderful way to build strong character analysis skills and explore a historical perspective.
Here’s a great graphic organizer that can be used with any narrative. Readers select a character and record feelings, descriptions, behaviors, and personality traits. The template could be used for group work or as a prewriting activity to prepare for a character analysis.
Study historical events by combining the study of historical fiction and non-fiction. Learners read about true past events in historical fiction novels and then research non-fiction accounts of the same events. What are some differences they find? Compare and contrast the similarities and differences. Looking for an activity to extend this lesson? Assign each writer a specific event, and have them write a journal entry or two about the event as if they were living during that time period.
High schoolers analyze and evaluate Grendel, the monster, from the literature piece, Beowulf. In this character analysis lesson plan, students interpret Grendel's background and the problems he is forced to deal with. High schoolers listen to the music, "The Beast", as they interpret "The Wrath of Grendel" from Beowulf. Students help filling out a T-chart on the board and write a short essay putting themselves in a similar situation as Grendel's.
Students compare and contrast the literature of the Republic of Korea to that of the United States with an emphasis on women writers. In this women writers lesson, students complete a 30 page packet of analysis activities for women writers of Korea and the United States.
The short story, “Remains of a Marriage,” provides the text for a reading comprehension assessment. Test takers are asked to identify literary techniques used in the passage, use context clues to determine the meaning of words, draw inferences, and analyze characters’ motivations. A lengthy answer key accompanies the resource and details how the correct response can be determined.
Passage response questions ask readers of The Odyssey to closely examine specific lines of Homer’s famous epic poem. They must search for clues of hospitality, interpret passages, analyze characters, and determine the mood of a scene. Could be used for group work or as a reading assessment.
Utilize this easy-to-understand and effect activity to help students understand the character motivations of Roger and Mrs. Jones in Langston Hughes’ “Thank you M’am.” Readers analyze character details, dialogue, and conflicts to make their own conclusions as to why Roger does what he does in the end. Could also be used as group work, homework, or as a quiz.
The class listens to a descriptive passage from Gary Paulsen's novel Hatchet. The passage evokes mental images which pupils are instructed to illustrate. In small groups, they share their pictures. They discuss which words and details sparked the most powerful mental images. Now they are ready to create or revise their own written work including colorful, expressive language.
Help your class make text-to-self connections by associating real-life events with the events in the story "Dancing with the Indians" by Angela Shelf Medearis. They identify events from the story, complete a think sheet, and record a personal, real-life event that relates to an event from the story.
In this reading comprehension lesson, 5th graders, after reading the novel, Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli analyze characters and their roles in other peoples lives. Students interact with plot conflicts and character relationships. Students fill out 2 specific charts as directed. Students relate how people change over time in the novel and then relate similiar changes in their own lives with an array of pictures that they are asked to bring to class.
Sixth graders analyze the primary force that drives a character's actions in a character analysis lesson. For this character analysis lesson, 6th graders analyze how characters present their actions and participate in a group activity carting an action to fulfill objectives. Students analyze the character objectives in a nursery rhyme and perform the rhyme.
Many youngsters have heard the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but do they know there's more than one version? After reviewing the original verison by the Brothers Grimm, present Little Red Cowboy Hat by Sudan Lowell. Class members can compare and contrast the two stories and discuss the characters, setting, conflict, and resolution as a whole class. Individual pupils fill in one of two provided graphic organizers about the two stories. Add a third suggested tale to extend the lesson.
Characters from a story can be sorted by their traits, just like shapes or objects can. First the children list several character traits on a chart, they read a familiar story, and then sort the characters by their friendly or unfriendly traits. As a class, they read the story Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and analyze character actions to determine which character should falls under the friendly or unfriendly classification.
I can't wait to try this activity with my class. It's versatile and could be modified to fit any character analysis instructional activity. To analyze characters thoroughly, learners create life boxes. Each box will pertain to a character from any Shakespeare play and will contain items relating to that character. They need to use evidence from the text to validate their choice of items.