Using a T-Chart: Analyzing How Junior Develops in the First Chapter of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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SWBAT identify and analyze the character Junior's internal and external conflicts in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Big Idea

What is poverty and how can it affect someone’s life?


10 minutes

Give One…Get One:  

The day before we researched and discussed information about the challenges faced by Native Americans living on reservations. This activity is a sharing of ideas between students. I ask them to  use the Give One template to describe one thing they know about living on a Native American Reservation.  After 5-8 minutes of moving around the room sharing information the students sit back down and I facilitate a discussion about the facts they gathered Give - One - Get - One from each other.


Building Knowledge

20 minutes

Internal and External Conflict

I begin by giving students basic background information about the author, Sherman Alexie.
I share that the author grew up on a Native American reservation in Spokane, Washington and that this book is semi-autobiographical of his experiences growing up as a teen.  I share that he describes his life at the reservation school as challenging because he was constantly teased by other kids on the reservation. He was nicknamed "The Globe" because he had a large head due to the hydrocephalus or "water on the brain."  I let them know that today the author is a successful writer of novels and is committed to teaching film making skills to Native American youth, and to use media for cultural expression and social change. I let them know that the Sherman Alexie has long supported youth programs and initiatives dedicated to uplifting at-risk Native youth.  I want my students to relate to the conviction the author has about helping youth.

I then ask the question, "What does at-risk mean."  We discuss the answers given and move into the Internal External Conflict power point presentation on internal and external conflict. Students are asked to take notes in their interactive journals.

Each student has a journal that will be interactive with their daily work and formative assessments.  I want them to use this journal as a resource for the note taking throughout the year.

To check for understanding I us the Cold Call technique calling on several students to define the terms covered because analyzing complex characters such as Junior, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3, requires a deep understanding of how the character thinks, acts, looks and deals with conflict.


Student Learning Activity

35 minutes

Students read and write in pairs or individually to read chapter 1. While reading they identify the external and internal conflicts Junior is experiencing and note them on their T-Chart Conflict graphic organizer analyze how complex characters develop over the course of this story RL.9-10.3. This activity will especially help my visual learners

I circulate among groups to check for understanding and keep them focused on the task. 

Wrap Up

10 minutes

Share out

I ask students to share the quotes or examples they wrote in their T-Charts of internal and external conflict with the class.  Students add to their own list so they have at least 2 internal and external conflicts the main character, Junior is experiencing.  I do this to reinforce the need to identify these important traits of his character.  They will refer to this chart as we continue to analyze characters and conflict within the themes of the novel.