Today the kids will compare and contrast characters from literature, or television in order to prepare for the character comparisons/contrast they'll make for Island of the Blue Dolphins. *Not a great idea to let them compare friends/parents/siblings/coachs/etc. Read my reflection, Stick With Fiction.
"Think of two great characters either from literature or television. Each has unique characteristics that make them who they are. Draw a Venn Diagram and compare these people." They may get carried away in the discussion phase with this particular activity, so I limit sharing to those people in their group, but your class may benefit from a large group discussion.
This will be a pleasant way to reinforce the components of comparing and contrasting two or more characters in the novel, CCS RL.5.3. As they move toward the task of replicating the activity with characters less familiar, the foundation is set.
I bring this lesson into the literature study after Chapter 22 when Tutok is introduced. Karana and Tutok are perfect Venn Diagram/Double Bubble (Thinking Map) candidates because there are numerous similarities and differences to write, and most kids will feel success with the activity.
Plenty of kids prefer to be challenged. I've provided templates for using three different characters. The Venn Diagram Three Bubble gives them the opportunity to find contrast and comparison with three characters, which can be considerably more difficult than two.
Next the students will determine which characters from Island of the Blue Dolphins fit these descriptions:
Protagonist (characters at the center of the story)
Antagonist (characters who causes conflict to the protagonist)
Minor (characters who play a role, but are not at the center of the story)
Non-human (characters necessary to the story, but are not human)
Students should be aware some of the characters will fall into more than one category or change categories as the novel progresses.
After identifying at least one character from each of the above sections, students select two to compare and contrast in a Double Bubble map or Venn Diagram. I require certain students to use the protagonist and antagonist only in order to pose a challenge.