Lesson: Identifying Character Relationships - Analyzing Details - Cause and Effect

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Lesson Objective

Student will be able to identify characters in "The Secret Zoo" and how they influence the story and how they are related to each other.

Lesson Plan

Objective:  Student will be able to identify characters in "The Secret Zoo" and how they influence the story and how they are related to each other.

Lesson Plan


Do Now (10 minutes):   Read the Chapters 11 and 12 (but stop in chapter 12 before the author reveals what animal is running toward Noah).  The author gives us clues to what was running toward Noah when he was waiting at the mail box.  Draw a progression of your thinking as those clues were being read to you:  (see attached file).

Finish the rest of Chapter 12 for the class.

Opening:   Yesterday we worked on identifying the Characters (major and minor) that we have meet, so far in “The Secret Zoo”.  Today we are going to focus on the relationships that they have with each other.  Now, do I mean boyfriend/girlfriend-type relationships??  Ummm, no!  What I mean is, the way that each character either influences the main character or how character influence each other throughout the story.  Also, remember how minor characters have different role within a given story:

  • They help move the story’s plot.

  • Help readers understand the main character better.

  • Provide the problem.

  • Help in attaining the solution.

·        Help to set up the story.

The way that we are going to show this is going to be pretty cool.  We are going to character web within the classroom.  This thing is going to ridiculous and awesome all at the same time.  By the end of the book we are going to have a very intertwined (complicated) web showing relationships between characters (minor to major, minor to minor, major to minor).  The way this is going to work is today we are going to start figuring out these relationships within the book and as we continue reading, people can post a new relationship or character when they feel the need.  (see attached file for a description).

Direct Instruction (I DO):

As we get deeper and deeper into “The Secret Zoo” the story is going to get more and more complex.  We are going to need to pay attention to a lot more characters.  Before long (and it happens to me when I read as well), we get so confused because we have not stopped to think about how these characters relate to the story and to each other.  We will find ourselves turning back the pages trying to figure out who is who and who does what; this can be very time consuming, disruptive, and quite annoying.  Sometimes this is the cause for us to put a good book down and walk away.  I DON’T WANT THIS TO HAPPEN TO YOU!!!

Take out the Cinderella chart from the last lesson and explain that today we are going to sort through all these characters and how the relate to the main character.

Model putting the relationship lines from the minor character to the major character by retelling the story and briefly describing how that character interacts with the main character and helps the story develop.

Put this description on a post it and place it on the relationship line for students to see.

Follow the same procedure for a couple more characters until students understand the process.  Allow them to ask any questions with the last one that you do so that they understand.

Guided Practice (WE DO):

Students should take out their “The Secret Zoo” organizer and as a class start going through the same procedures that were done above.

Independent Practice (YOU DO):

Allow students to show their relationships for the remaining minor characters to the major character.

EXTENSION:  students who are ready should state showing relationships between two minor characters.

**Come back as a group and compare and discuss their character wheels with the rest of the class.**

Closing:   Remind students that making character wheels like this can help them as we continue to work through this story. 

There will be more characters and relationships that occur and become evident at the story continues. 

This is also a great strategy to use in future stories/books that we read.

Homework:  Read Chapters 15-18 and complete question sheet. (see attached file)

Lesson Resources

Lesson 38 Do now   Starter / Do Now
Lesson 38 Character Web Description   Lesson Plan
Lesson 38   Lesson Plan
Lesson 38 Homework   Homework


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