The novel, Tangerine, by Edward Bloor, deals with choices that numerous characters make throughout the plot. Choices contribute to the development of Paul as a dynamic character. Students know that a dynamic character is one that changes throughout the novel.
I gave the students a “Dynamic Character” chart to record choices that occurred in the novel. After reading each “Part,” they recorded crucial choices, including textual evidence, the character that made the choice, and the effect it had upon Paul. In the last column, they also notate the personality trait Paul displayed, and support with textual evidence, including the page. Some students choose to use a circle map to organize their ideas which can be viewed in the Resourcees
After finishing Part 1, as a whole class we completed the chart together. Some of the choices that had an effect on Paul included Paul’s mom informing the school about Paul’s IEP, Coach Walski informing Paul that he could not be part of the soccer team, and Paul taking part in the sink hole rescue.
With the class discussion, we also personally related to the incidents and how we might have responded.
As students completed reading Part 2, the students were required to complete the Part 2 section of the “Dynamic Character” Chart. At this stage, students worked in small groups to complete this assignment.
I reminded them that just because Paul acts a certain way one time, does not mean he has changed to that personality. These changes need to indicate continual growth in his personality.
Some choices that were addressed: Paul’s parents allowing Paul to attend Tangerine Middle School without an IEP; acceptance of Paul’s new friends both in and out of school; Paul’s involvement at the nursery.
After finishing the end of the book, students independently completed the “Dynamic Character” chart.
Some valuable choices could be: Paul’s decision to work with the citris crops over Thanksgiving rather than visit with family; Paul’s confrontation of his father about soccer season; Theresa asking Paul not to attend Luis’ funeral.
Rather than completing this as a group, I wanted students to objectively conclude the type of character that Paul became as a result of choices portrayed throughout the novel.