Focusing on a Character's Dialogue to Fill in the Gaps of the Story

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SWBAT analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story propel the action, aspects, or decisions of a character.

Big Idea

Laurie vs. Charles: Will the REAL character PLEASE stand UP?

Lesson Introduction

Have you ever been in a class with a student that was just so disrespectful? What if that student was you? How would your classmates respond to your negative behavior? This lesson requires students to review the events of a young boy, Charles, and his day-by-day behavior in class. Listen to the story a young boy gives about his behavior leading up to a shocking parent-teacher conference!

Warm-Up: Remembering Classroom Behaviors

10 minutes

To start this lesson, students respond to this prompt on the whiteboard

Describe a misbehaved student in anyone of your classes. It will be FUNNY if the story is about YOU!

Students are given time to write their response then share their misbehave stories aloud to the class. While we may have had many laughs and insults, these behaviors are true to what is experienced in class each day.

Guided Practice: Boy Meets World

10 minutes

To understand the how behaviors affects both students and teachers in the classroom, students watch video clips from the tv show Boy's World. In the clips, students see how a teacher continues to respect his students even when they don't always do the same.

I love what I do as a teacher but misbehavior at times can hinder me from doing a job that is so dear to my heart. As the clips are playing, students will watch them for entertainment. Once the video is over, I will orally discuss with students the impact both the behaviors of teachers and students have on learning.

Independent Practice: Reading of Fictional Story

25 minutes

Because the story of Charles is told about different days in school, students will be given a different day of the story to read silently in class. As each group reads about Charles on different days of the week, students will respond to the following questions in their notebooks

1. How does the dialogue reported by the narrator help to propel the story forward?

2. What is the purpose of the dialogue when you have a 1st person narrator? In each section, which character provides the primary information?

3. What clues about Charles' true identity exist in each section that the family missed?

4. What devices does the author use to conceal the truth about Charles' identity and create the twist at the end of the narrative?

5. What choices did Laurie make? Is there evidence in the text to suggest Laurie's choice to invent Charles? What could explain the author's choice about that?

Students will only answer the questions that pertain to the sections that they are asked to read about Charles. To discuss the events of the entire story, students will talk about Charles and his behavior according to what was read. We will then go over the answers as a whole-class to identify where in the story does Charles begin to reveal his true identity. 

Exit Ticket: Being a Mom

2 minutes

To play up on the fact that indeed Charles and Laurie are the same character, students will be asked to create a series of emails that the teacher sent to Charles' mom or an email from Laurie's mom written to the teacher after the PTA meeting. Listen to  a student acting as Laurie's mom which is one way to tackle this task.