Lesson: compare and contrast characters

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Lesson Objective

Compare and contrast minor and major characters in a text

Lesson Plan

DO NOW (10 mins)

Teaching Point - Compare/contrast minor and major characters

Mini lesson (15 mins)

Teacher says: "Yesterday we worked on identifying major and minor characters. Today we are going to compare and contrast minor and major characters because we want to be able to distinguish between the two to help us better understand them. Minor characters are needed just as much as major characters. Major characters are locks that cannot be unlocked unless you have a key. However, the minor characters play the role of key that can unlock what is locked within and reveal the hidden excitements to the readers."  

[Teacher models using the short story “Birthday Box”] Teacher says, "Katie is definitely the major character in the story. We find out about Katie every step of the way. I would identify her mom as a minor character. She is involved in the story and is referenced by Katie as well. When we read we jotted and held our thoughts about Katie (traits) and the inferences about her [point out highlights from the text to reiteratestrong supporting details;]. At the end of the text we find out about the box and its purpose for Katie. It helped her see herself how her mom saw her."

Active Engagement (2 mins)

Teacher asks students to turn and talk to their neighbor and answer the following: What actions of her mom are encouraging to her daughter? Identify textual support for your answer. Ask students to share out responses with the entire class then transition students to indepeendent practice.

Independent Practice (45 mins)

Ask students to practice the skill in their independent reading books and record the answer tot the following question in their reader's notebook.  How does the minor character (s) unlock ideas about the major character that we wouldn’t necessarily see if they weren’t in the story?

Exit Slip (5 mins)

Teacher will list 10 quotes from the text. Students will then identify which quotes would be considered strong and weak evidence to support the character’s trait. 3 quotes would pertain to the parent and three will pertain to Katie. The other 4 would be considered just details


Copy of short story "Birthday Box"

Reader's notebooks

Independent reading  books


This most successful part of this lesson was the exit slip. 87% of the students responded with correct answers for the exit slip.


At this time I wouldn't change anything about this lesson. The pacing was fine and according to the data from the exit slips students were able to master the standard.



Lesson Resources



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