Bad Boy: Why Characters Act Out

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SWBAT: close read and mark a nonfiction text to make and support inferences.

Big Idea

By reading an excerpt from Walter Dean Myers's "Bad Boy," students will support their claims on characterization.

Guiding Question

5 minutes

This Guiding Question was taken from our SpringBoard books in order for students to build background knowledge for what they were getting ready to read. The kids really liked "tattling" on some of the inappropriate actions they've witnessed in school. At first they had fun making lists of injustices, but when I reminded them that they also needed to evaluate the "why" of these incidences, my students became more subdued. Here is a student's Guiding Question response.

Mini Lesson

10 minutes

For the Mini Lesson, I read aloud from The Fourth Stall, which happened to be a perfect fit for both the Guiding Question and for the Bad Boy text. Tomorrow, we will begin keeping a Double-Entry Journal on characterization in preparation for the Character Analysis Essay, but for now, we are still in the first 5 Chapters of the book, and we are just reading to build enough background knowledge.

This student talks about how reading The Fourth Stall helps him think about characterization in other characters:


Work Time

35 minutes

I debated on whether or not to read the excerpt from Bad Boy out loud, or have the students read it independently. I think either would be appropriate, however, I opted to have the students read it because I'd already read The Fourth Stall out loud to them, and it'd been a while since they were truly independent on a whole-class task. Here's some student work that shows how they used evidence from the text to support their assumptions about characterization. When they were finished, they were asked to fill in a Character Analysis Chart that asked for actions, explanation, and adjectives to describe the character.


Wrap Up

5 minutes

The students used their reflection stems to generate their reflections for the Wrap Up today.

This student reflection is pretty funny. The chart for the character analysis asked the students to use adjectives to describe the characters. This, of course, provoked mini-discussion where I reminded students what they were. It clearly stuck with this student.