Conflicts between Characters

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SWBAT describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges. SWBAT write opinion pieces in which they introduce topic, state opinion, and support their opinion.

Big Idea

Developing reasonable interpretation of text and evidence to support your interpretation.

Introduction to Character vs. Character Conflicts

20 minutes

   I begin this section of the lesson with an introduction of my Flip chart: Conflict Between Characters.  A Charlotte's Web Video Clip: Fern Saves Wilbur is embedded in this flip chart so students can view an example of this type of conflict.  The video clip is a great multi-sensory approach to hook students into this lesson. We discussed the roles that a protagonist and an antagonist play in this type of conflict.  I also assess prior knowledge by using a KWL  chart prior to introduction of this lesson. This chart serves as a pre-assessment  to inform me what the class already knows (K) and what they want to know (W).  The Learned (L) portion of the KWL chart will serve as a post-assessment when we fill out what we learned after this lesson is complete.


Introduce Character v. Character Conflict:  Show Flip Chart with definition and examples

Character v. Character - In this type of conflict, a protagonist  is struggling against an antagonist. In the real world, only people can have man v. man conflicts; in fiction, we can create lots of human-smart characters and creatures that are not human.  


Define Protagonist v. Antagonist

Protagonist - the main character of the story or conflict; usually refers to a single person, but could possibly be a group

Antagonist - the person, creature, group, or force the protagonist is working against.  

Motivational Hook Activity:

Watch a video clip and discuss why this is an example of external conflict between characters.

Read Chapter 1 of Charlotte's Web.  Discuss how Fern resolved her conflict with her father.

Brainstorm:  Ask students to cite other Character v. Character conflicts in Charlotte's Web


Activate Prior Knowledge:

 Discuss character vs. character conflicts in their favorite movies, books, television shows, etc. 

Graphic Organizer:  Mind Mapping to visualize Character v. Character

Students complete a Graphic organizer of Character vs. Character from their favorite stories.  Share out their ideas and examples.

Jig Saw

20 minutes

     In this activity, students jigsaw by each group reading an assigned chapter of Charlotte's Web and identifying sections of the chapter that demonstrates character vs. character.  Common Core relies on text evidence to support answers.  Also, students gain insight from their peers as they work collaboratively in their teams.  However, it is important to structure the teams to include Group Roles, Team Ruless, and communication systems.

Literature Circles:

Divide students into groups of six.  Assign each group a chapter of Charlotte's Web to read. 

Group Roles:Each group has a leader, manager (distributes materials), summarizer (writes group's summary), time keeper (keeps group on task and on schedule), encourager (motivates group to keep trying), and listener (pays attention to details and keeps discussions on focus).

Norms:  Discuss rules and procedures for the group.  See Group Rules under resources section. Each table uses Color Cups to signal to teacher how they are doing. 

Collaborative Activity: Students may select a reader in each group or read individually, depending on the reading levels of the students.  The summarizer writes information form the text that depict character vs. character conflicts and also cites the page number, paragraph, source of information. The group discusses the reasons for their selections and summarizes them for the summarizer to record. Students may use a laptop or other outside sources to clarify the definition of character vs. character conflicts.

The leader shares out the information from their group with the class.  Each group reports on the chapter they read. Teams may use character vs. character visual presentation to accompany their oral reports.



20 minutes

   At this point in the lesson, I ask students to conduct to forms of self-assessments:  Windshield Check  and Ticket out the door.  Both serve as summative assessments for this lesson.

Differentiated Assessments:Post three signs on different quadrants of the classroom, entitled "Windshield Check".  One sign reads "Clear-I Got It',  another sign reads, "Bugs- I get it for the most part", and the last sign reads, "Mud-I still don't get it".  Ask students to "Vote with their Feet", meaning walk over to the sign that signifies their level of understanding at this point about "character vs. character conflict".  Teacher will make note of students' choices and differentiate instruction accordingly.


Ticket out the Door: Ask students to fill out a reflection sheet entitled "ticket out the door".  Then share out what they wrote about this lesson's effectiveness.  Ask students to modify the lesson to make it more meaningful to them.  Make note of their suggestions to use in future lessons about story conflicts.