Choice Novel Unit: Motives & Action

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Students delve deep into the text to find out how motivations influence actions.

Big Idea

What lies behind a character's actions?

Activator: Movie Time!

15 minutes

Students are currently involved in reading novels with a focus on characterization. As they make their way through the stories they are creating projects that demonstrate their understanding of the plot.

In addition to the projects listed on the menu, some students have decided to work in groups to write up a script and film short scenes. Today two groups are ready to present their videos to the class. It is a great way to for them to introduce their books to the class, to develop technology skills, and to inspire their  classmates. Both video 1 and video 2 happen to be about the book Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Mini Lesson on Literary Elements: Characterization

20 minutes

To analyze characterization it is important that students not just look at a character’s actions but also take time to look deeper into the motives behind those actions and the conflict that arises. Mastery of this skill takes time and in talking with the students it was evident that they would benefit from some direct instruction, modeling and guided practice. Hear a little more about it in this video and take a look at the charts we use in class.

Group Discussion

20 minutes

Students spend the last 15-20 minutes of class discussion their reading from the night before by reviewing the notes each person took while reading. Do they agree on important plot events? Does anyone have questions to about the reading? Can they make connections to the reading? They also make sure that each person is aware of that day’s homework assignment by checking the calendar.