DRAFT – July 2008Unit of Study:
Digging Deeper Into Fiction
Confirming Characters’ Motivation Based Upon Their Actions1
Familiar realistic fiction text with vivid maincharacter
Sticky notes or Reading Response Journals
Examine a characters’ actions to confirm theirmotives in a story.
2.9 C; 3.9 C; 4.10 G; 5.10 G
connect today’s work with our ongoing work
explicitly state my teaching point
Review the idea that readers can often predictcharacters’ motives in advance by examining thethoughts & feelings of the character. Expand thisidea by letting students know that
restate my teaching point
tell a personal or class story linked to teaching point
demonstrate by thinking aloud
point out things students should have noticed
Inform students that authors do not makecharacters perfect – they make them have flawsand complications that make them interesting tothe reader and make them more like the peoplethat we encounter in our everyday lives. Let themknow that sometimes these imperfections result ina mismatch between what the character thinks andwhat the character actually does.Demonstrate reading aloud a short portion from afamiliar realistic fiction text in which informationin the text indicates that a character’s internalthoughts and feelings directly contradict whatthey actually do in the story.
involve students by asking them to turn and talk
listen, observe, and coach active involvement
share an example of what you heard or observed
Have students turn to a partner and discuss whythey think the character acts against their impulsesand what they believe this illustrates about thecharacter.
restate the teaching point
explain how the learning can be used in the future
Recap what you heard students sharing during theactive engagement portion of the lesson.Emphasize the importance of noticingdiscrepancies between characters’ internalthoughts & feelings and their outward actions.Then, invite students to try this strategy on theirown. Have students consider characters’ internaltensions in independent reading. Students should be taking some type of notes as they read (seesticky note and reading response journal option below):
Sticky note option
Reading Response Journal option
:CharacterThought/FeelingCharacterActionDo TheseMatch? (Y/N)What This TellsMe AboutCharacter
Possible Conference Questions:
How’s it going?
What are you noticing as a reader today?
Do the thoughts/feelings of your main charactermatch their actions? What does this tell you aboutthe character?__________ (character) is thinking/feeling_________ but he/she ________________(action). This tells me ________________(insight about the character).