Digging into Character Analysis

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SWBAT trace the development of characters through the first two books of A Tale of Two Cities by creating life size character posters of each of the main characters in the book.

Big Idea

Imagine you and Dickens are going to a literary soiree--let's familiarize ourselves his colorful characterized guests!


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading time. I will read with students during this time.

Recap of Yesterday's Declaration Activity

5 minutes

Since we weren't able to digest and discuss yesterday's declaration activity, we will spend a few minutes revisiting the declarations, specifically "The Declaration of the Rights of Man" and ask students to share a few observations about the style, function and rhetorical strategy of this document as it relates to the history and novel. We will also use this time to congratulate them on their fantastic work in class yesterday =).

Giant Character Poster Creation

35 minutes

Our next activity was actually born earlier this week too. After doing a little bit of digging with the characters of Sydney Carton, Charles Darnay and Mr. Stryver, I realized that the students could use more time to review all of the major characters.

By today's reading, the students have met all of the key players and Dickens has (finally) gotten through his exposition for each. To review what we have learned so far, I will have students work in teams of five (student choice on the groups today) to create a giant character poster that explains what the character is thinking, feeling, and doing as well as how that character is connected to other characters (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3).

To do this, I will ask students to trace one their group members and then fill in this "body" with quotes, observations and analysis. I will also ask them to do a little bit of drawing to fill in the face and any other important features or items that we should connect to that character (i.e. Madame Defarge's knitting needles).

I will require that each group member have one unique quote on the poster (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1). We will also brainstorm a character list as a class to make sure we are looking closely at the characters they think are important, though I reserve the right as the teacher to add to that list at will. =)

Wrap up and Next Steps

5 minutes

We will likely need a little time to clean up the room and hang our giant posters up on the walls. I will reserve at least five minutes for this at the end of class. If students go quickly, I will let them share some of their observations about their characters orally.