Reflection: Elements of Literature: Types of Characters - Section 2: Reading About Characters


I do a ton of differentiation to meet the needs of both my Honors and English 7 classes.  I routinely give different sets of notes, like the ones I've provided in the resource section, to my English 7 students.  This lesson looks drastically different with my Honors classes and takes additional time due to the processing needs of half of my students in my inclusion classes.


My Honors classes spend a one class period setting up their composition books to write Cornell notes on literary terms.  They read about characters, theme, setting, plot, flashback, foreshadowing, and conflict and write the definitions on the appropriate page.  We then go back and add to the definitions with more specific details and examples.  For my inclusion and English 7 classes, I divide it up into multiple days.  We spend two days on characters, protagonists, and antagonists, two days on conflicts, and so on.


Another important part to ensuring mastery for inclusion classes is repetition of content.  There's no way that students can move into analysis, application, or synthesis if they don't understand the terms you want them to analyze, apply, or synthesize. Furthermore, I believe that you must explicitly teach vocabulary that appears in the stories that students will be analyzing.  Therefore, I may take a lot longer to get to the point of analyzing with inclusion classes, but rushing the process will only end in restarting from the beginning.

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Elements of Literature: Types of Characters

Unit 2: Analyzing Literature with Gary Soto’s Seventh Grade
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to acquire definitions of characters, protagonist, and antagonist by reading about characters, viewing and discussing a video clip, and writing Cornell notes.

Big Idea: The good, the bad, and the characters. Students see the ugly truth of what a protagonist and antagonist really are over two days.

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