Today the students will be reading "Charles" again, but this time, they will focus on the character traits of Charles/Laurie.
Pose the question, How did the different characters in the story react to Charles?
Have students write their response on an index card. When finished, pass it to a partner. The partner should comment in writing on the card and return it to the owner. Take a few minutes to share out ideas. This quick activity will activate student prior knowledge and help focus them for their task today.
Today students will read Charles a second time. This time they will be looking for specific parts of the story where someone admires or disapproves of Charles. This activity supports standard RL 6.1 where students are asked to use textual evidence. This is a main component of Common Core, so I need to start working on it early in the year!
For this activity, I ask students to make a "key" and highlight with 2 different colors. For example, pink means someone admires him and green means they disapprove.
I encourage students to read with a partner so that they can discuss each passage and make decisions based on textual evidence. As I circulate I ask questions like:
I also point out specific passages to students who finish quickly or are struggling.
Once students are finished, regroup them so they are not with their partners any more for the purpose of having different pieces of evidence.
Each group needs a large piece of paper with a tree map drawn on it. The groups should go through each page of the story and put their ideas on to the tree map. The purpose is to organize their thoughts before they begin to write and cite evidence. As they are sharing, not everyone will agree which forces the students to have conversations about their reasoning and evidence. I ask the question: Can you find support in the text? Is there a word or phrase that makes you think this? If not, move on!
Ideal group size for this activity would be 3 or 4 students. This way several different view points and pieces of evidence can be used to create the tree map.
To close this lesson, ask students to think about their evidence and make one general statement about the way other people view Charles. They can write this on a post it and stick it to the board or tell you in person on the way out the door. I chose to end the lesson like this to help students really process through all of their evidence and find out what is really happening in the story. I want them to put post its up so that they can see what other people think and compare it to their own ideas.