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The Unfairness of Life Pacing Guide

Lesson Common Core


#
Standards
1

SL.9-10.1

Sl.0-10.1
W.9-10.4

Outcomes /
ILA Methods
Assessment
Students will reflect on Small group discussions.
their ideas of
Whole group discussion.
unfairness and create

a class definition for (Speaking & Listening ILA

the term.
Strands)
One-page reflection on Listening to guest speakers.
presentation by guest

speakers.
(Listening ILA Strand)

W.9-10.4

RL.9-10.2

Students will write


postcards to children
Independent writing and
that have been
drawing.
diagnosed with a
terminal illness
(Writing & Visually
throughout the quarter Representing ILA Strands)
(4-5 postcards)

Students will have an


informal discussion
about unfairness.
Students will annotate
for the theme of
unfairness in their
choice novel (20
annotations total).

Partner Discussion.
Reading/annotating for
theme.

(Reading & Speaking ILA

Strands)

Students will have an


Partner Discussion.
informal discussion
Reading/annotating for
about characterization.
characterization.

5
RL.9-10.3 Students will annotate
for characterization in (Reading & Speaking ILA
their choice novel (20
Strands)

annotations total).

Lesson Common Core


Outcomes /
ILA Methods
#
Standards
Assessment

Texts & Materials


Whiteboard
Dry erase markers
Pencil/pen
Paper
Pencil/pen
Paper
Video Camera
How to Write a Postcard
PowerPoint
Computer/SMART board
Website link
(sendkidstheworld.com)
Send Kids the World
assignment packet.
Paper
Pencil/pen
Choice novel
Train to Somewhere
picture book
Unfairness of Life
Definitions Word document
SMART board
Annotations criteria
Pencil/pen
Paper
Post-it notes
Choice novel
Westlandia picture book
Characterization
Definitions Word document
SMART board
Annotations criteria
Pencil/pen
Paper
Post-it notes
Texts & Materials

Students will
RL.9-10.2
participate in small
SL.9-10.1
group discussion about
SL.9-10.1.1
characterization.

Students will
RL.9-10.3
participate in small
SL.9-10.1
group discussion about
SL.9-10.1.1
characterization.

Students will create a


found poem focused on
theme or
characterization in their
choice novel, and they
will present the poem
to the class.

RL.9-10.2
W.9-10.4

RL.9-10.3
RL.9-10.2
RL.9-10.4
SL.9-10.5

10

RL.9-10.3
RL.9-10.2
RL.9-10.4
W.2-10.10
SL.9-10.5

Choice novel
Discussion Questions
Word document
Small group discussion.
The Unfairness of Life
(Speaking & Listening ILA
Discussion evaluation sheet
Strands)
Pencil/pen
Paper
Post-it notes
Choice novel
Discussion Questions
Word document
Small group discussion.
Characterization in Novels
(Speaking & Listening ILA
evaluation sheet
Strands)
Pencil/pen
Paper
Post-it notes
Choice novel
Found Poetry criteria
handout
Partner discussions/work.

The Unfairness of Life


Independent writing.
Found Poem assignment
(Reading, Writing, &
packet
Speaking ILA Strands) Example Found Poem
Pencil/pen
Paper

Students will discuss


how songs can relate to
Listening to songs.
a novel through theme

Partner discussions.
and characterization.

Brainstorming.
Students will create a

soundtrack of 5 songs
(Writing, Speaking, Visually
that represent the theme
Representing & Listening
of unfairness or a
ILA Strands)
character in their
choice novel.
Students will be
Student conferences with the
conferencing with the

teacher.
teacher about their
Independent writing.

soundtrack. Students
will begin drafting their
(Speaking, Listening, &
written explanations for
Writing ILA Strand)

the songs.

Choice novel
Novel Soundtrack packet
Two example songs
Pencil/pen
Paper

Choice novel
Novel Soundtrack packet
Two example written
explanations
Pencil/pen
Paper

***These lessons are part of a nine week unit on unfairness.


Thematic Unit Content Questions

1. Thematic Focus: Is unfairness a necessary part of life, and how do we/others overcome it?
2. Broad Lifelong Unit Goal(s) or Rationale: This unit allows students to prepare for further
education and the career field. This unit also allows students to analyze instances of
unfairness in their personal lives and the society around them, and how people who have
experienced unfairness in life (specifically terminal illness/death) have overcome it.
3. Service Learning/Out of Classroom Possibilities: Throughout the quarter, students will
write postcards to children who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. (Lesson 3)
4. Students Lived Experiences: Discussing the inevitability of unfairness in life and how to
overcome it; learning about terminal illness, and learning how to talk to people who have
experienced this in some way; people they know could have/die from cancer. (Throughout
the entire unit)
5. Cultural Component: All races and ethnicities can suffer from terminal illness and other
forms of unfairness in life.
6. ILA Connection to Culture & Society: Help students gain knowledge about terminal
illnesses, death, and unfairness; help students gain knowledge of how to talk to people who
have encountered these instances of unfairness and how people overcome them. (Lessons 1,
2, 3, and 6)
7. Arts & Humanities: Students will be creating their own soundtrack and poetry based on the
novels. (Lessons 8, 9, and 10)
8. Collaboration: Bring in guest speakers: grief counselor and school counselor. (Lesson 2)
9. Variety of Texts: Poetry; The Fault in Our Stars; The Art of Racing in the Rain; song
lyrics, picture books (Train to Somewhere and Westlandia); write their own soundtrack,
poem, and postcards. (Lessons 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10)
10. ILA Strands: Reading The Fault in Our Stars/The Art of Racing in the Rain, poems, and
song lyrics. Writing found poem, soundtrack, postcards, and reflections. Speaking small
group/whole-class discussions and sharing written work. Listening guest speakers, songs,
and group/whole-class discussions. Visually Representing visual elements of their with
their soundtrack and postcards.
11. Scaffolding: Students reflecting on unfairness and terminal illness; teaching them formatting
for writing assignments (postcards, poems, and soundtracks); teaching them how to have a
group or whole-class discussion.
12. Interdisciplinary Connections: Psychology. (Lesson 2)
13. Critical Thinking: Reflecting on the essential question(s) in relation to the texts; applying
these lessons to life now and as they get older; reflecting on the essential question(s) in
relation to the society around them.

14. Assessments: Diagnostic pre assessment: what they think unfairness is; Formative
annotations for theme and characterization, and discussions of theme and characterization;
Summative Send Kids the World postcards, found poem, and soundtrack.
15. Self-assessment: Students will be writing reflections after some experiences during class.
16. Assessment of Indicators: Critical analysis of essential question the answer as it applies
to characters in the texts, as it applies to them, and as it applies to the people/society around
them; written explanations for poem and soundtrack.
17. Sequence Rationale: Lower level Blooms Taxonomy higher lever Blooms Taxonomy.
Students will be introduced to the theme of the novels and characterization, and students will
gradually begin to analyze the theme of the novels and examples of characterization in the
novels. By the end of the unit, students will be able to create texts that represent their
understanding and analysis of theme and characterization in the novels.
18. Varied Instruction: Individually: student work and reflections. Small groups: discussions
and practice with partners or small groups (no more than 5-6 people). Large group: wholeclass discussions.
19. Accommodations for specific types of students: Accommodations are made through the
use of handouts, students placement in the room, small group work, partner work, wholeclass discussions, visual aids, and extra time on assignments.
20. Possible Problems: See lesson plans for possible problems and solutions.

Extended Definition: Unfairness


1. Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting with mixed socioeconomic classes. Mixed male and female students. Students will be
preparing to start their choice novel (The Fault in our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain),
which focuses on our central theme (the unfairness of life), and our guiding question (Is
suffering a necessary part to life, and can we overcome it?). Students will be discussing what
the term unfairness means.
2. Broad Lifelong Goals/Rationale: This lesson will prepare students for higher education, a
career, and adulthood by helping students learn how to define and interpret broad, complex
terms/ideas. This will also allow students to examine their lives and the society around them
for unfairness. This is important because it gives students the ability to identify a problem
that they can overcome or help others through. This also allows students to objectively
examine, gather evidence from, and build thoughts/opinions of the society around them.
3. Specific Daily Objectives:
Students will discuss the term and idea of unfairness by discussing what is
considered unfair.
Students will support their ideas with examples from their personal experiences or
society.
Students will express their thoughts and evidence clearly during a group and wholeclass discussion.
4. Common Core Standard:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one,
in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and
issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
5. Assessment/Outcomes:
Students will be informally assessed by the teacher monitoring and observing the
group and whole-class discussions. Along with observing, the teacher will briefly talk
with each group and ask questions in order to verify that each student is participating
in the discussions. While observing, the teacher will check that each student has
answered the prompt from the beginning of class.
6. Blooms Taxonomy:
Comprehend: Students will discuss and explain the idea of unfairness.
Apply: Students will contribute to the discussion by providing explanations and
examples. Students will connect their ideas to those of other group members and realworld situations.
Evaluate: Students will support and defend their personal definition of unfairness.

7. Language Requirements:
Unfairness
o Students will create their own definition of unfairness through the discussion.
8. Materials: whiteboard, dry erase markers, pencil/pen, and paper.
9. Methods:
Beginning of Class:
The teacher will welcome the students to class.
Students should work on their vocabulary page and Daily Language Work (DLW).
The teacher will take attendance.
The teacher will go over the vocabulary page and DLW with the students. This
will be done by asking for volunteers to explain their answers or corrections
made, and the teacher will elaborate on the explanations.
(15 minutes)
Anticipation:
Before the class arrives the teacher will write prompt questions on the board:
o How do you define unfairness?
o What are some examples of unfairness in the world?
o Is experiencing unfairness a necessary part of life?
o How do people overcome unfairness?
Once the students have finished their vocabulary and DLW practice, the teacher
will instruct the students to respond to the prompts on the board on a piece of
notebook paper.
Students will begin responding to the prompts.
The teacher will monitor the classroom to make sure that the students are staying
on task.
o Students will not share answers. This will be done during the small
group discussions.
(5 minutes)
Overview:
The teacher will explain to students that today they will be getting into groups to
discuss the idea of unfairness.
The teacher will explain that this is important because they will be discussing this
theme throughout the entire quarter.
Modeling:
The teacher will explain to students that having a discussion means that all
members are participating and contributing their thoughts to the discussion. The
teacher will also tell them that they should try to make connections to real-world
situations to back up their thoughts/opinion.
The teacher will explain that students should use the prompts and their responses
as a starting point for discussion.

The teacher should also encourage students to use elaboration questions when
listening to their peers responses.
o Why do you think that?
o How do you see that in society?
o Can someone connect to what they just said?
The teacher will inform students that they will need to take their pencil/pen and
paper with them because they will need to write down ideas that they agree or
disagree with.
(5 minutes)
Guided Practice:
The teacher will split the class into groups of 4-5 students.
The teacher will instruct students to move into their groups and take their
materials.
Students will begin discussing their answers to the prompts.
Students should really focus on what they believe unfairness is.
As they talk, students should write down ideas that they agree or disagree with.
The teacher should rotate among the groups.
o The teacher should listen to students discuss or ask elaboration questions.
Why do you think that?
How do you see that in society?
Can someone connect off what they just said?
The teacher should warn students to begin wrapping-up when they have about 2
minutes left.
(12 minutes)
Application:
The teacher will instruct the students to go back to their desks.
The teacher will now lead the class in a whole-class discussion.
The teacher will start the discussion by using the prompts and having students
volunteer answers.
Students should try to elaborate on their ideas and connect to the ideas of other
students.
As the class discusses, the teacher will write some of the responses on the
whiteboard.
Students should take notes on the ideas discussed.
The teacher and students will collaborate to create a class definition of unfairness.
o The teacher should make sure to write the definition down on the
clipboard.
(15 minutes)
End of Class:
The teacher will remind students that there are many types of unfairness in the
world, but the important thing is how we overcome them or help others overcome
them.
The teacher will end class by delivering any classroom or school announcements.

(3 minutes)
10. Adaptations: By participating in group and whole-class discussions, students have a chance
to share and discuss thoughts with their peers. This will allow for students to receive a better
understanding of the idea of unfairness through peer explanations. For students with ADHD,
they will be sat near the front of the class, and they will be given extra time for completing
the assignment if needed (in accordance with IEP). For students with vision problems, they
can be sat closer to the board.
11. Possible Problems & Solutions: A potential problem could occur through lack of
participation or the discussion getting out of hand. Both of these issues would be solved by
the teacher guiding and monitoring the groups during the discussion. By allowing time to
write down their thoughts (journal prompt), all students should be focused on the discussion
and have at least one idea to contribute.

Guest Speakers: Terminal Illness and Death


1. Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting. Mixed male and female student population. Mixed socioeconomic status. Students
will have begun reading their choice novel (The Fault in our Stars or The Art of Racing in
the Rain). During this lesson, students will listen to a school counselor and a grief counselor
talk about terminal illness and death.
2. Broad, Lifelong Goal(s) & Rationale: Throughout their lives, students will encounter
people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, know someone who have been
diagnosed, or have lost a loved one to a terminal illness. This lesson will be beneficial to
students because it allows them to reflect on the this fact after the counselors have spoken to
the class
3. Specific Daily Objective:
Students will be listening to guest speakers who will be talking about terminal illness
and death.
4. Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one,
in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and
issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style
are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. Assessment/Outcomes:
A formal assessment will take place through a homework assignment. Students will
write a reflection of what they learned during the guest speakers presentation.
Students will focus on the information that they found interesting or important. The
students should explain why these things are interesting or important to them, and
how they affect them. The reflection should be at least one-page in length.
6. Blooms Taxonomy:
Comprehension: Students will summarize what they found interesting/important
during the presentation, and students will explain why these things were
interesting/important.
7. Language Requirements:
There are no new language requirements for this lesson.
8. Materials: Pen/pencil, paper, and video camera.

9. Methods:
Beginning of Class:
The teacher will welcome the students to class.
Teacher will take attendance.
(3 minutes)
Overview:
The teacher will explain that there are two guest speakers today: a school
counselor and a grief counselor.
The teacher will explain that the speakers will be talking about how to talk to
people who have a terminal illness, people who know someone with a terminal
illness, or people who have lost a loved one to a terminal illness.
Finally, the teacher will explain that students should write notes about what they
are hearing and find interesting/important. Students are expected to be respectful,
listen attentively, and ask questions.
(2 minutes)
Guest Speakers:
The guest speakers will discuss what is and is not appropriate to say to people
who have a terminal illness, people who know someone with a terminal illness, or
people who have lost a loved one to a terminal illness.
Students will actively listen to the guest speakers.
Students should be taking notes about what they find interesting or important.
Students are allowed to ask questions during the presentation.
At the end, the teacher and students will thank the guest speakers for coming to
talk to the class.
(40 minutes)
Application:
The teacher will explain the homework assignment to the students.
Students should use their notes to write a reflection of the presentation.
Students should focus on the information that they found the most interesting or
important.
The students should explain why they found these things interesting/important,
and how those things affected them.
The reflection should be at least one-page long.
(5 minutes)
Closure:
The teacher will close the lesson by stating that it is important to understand how
to talk to people who have experienced these things in order to be empathetic
when they meet people who have experienced these things.
The teacher will ask students if they have any questions concerning the homework
assignment.

The teacher will close with any final class or school announcements.
(3 minutes)

10. Adaptations: For students who are absent, the teacher will record the presentation. Students
who were absent can then watch the video and write their notes and reflection. Students with
visual or hearing problems can sit closer to the front of the classroom.
11. Possible Problems & Solutions: One possible problem is that students might be
disrespectful by not listening to the speakers or asking rude questions. To fix this problem,
the student(s) will be removed from the presentation and complete an alternative assignment.
Another possible problem is that students may be absent the day of the presentation. As a
solution, the teacher will record the presentation. Students who were absent can then watch
the video, and write their notes and reflection.

Service Learning: Postcards to Children who are Sick


1. Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting. Mixed male and female student population. Mixed socioeconomic status. Students
will have begun reading their choice novel (The Fault in our Stars or The Art of Racing in
the Rain), and students will have just listened to guest speakers discuss what is and is not
appropriate to say to people who have a terminal illness, people who know someone with a
terminal illness or people who have lost a loved one to a terminal illness. During this lesson,
students will be introduced to their service learning assignment. Students will have a review
of how to write a postcard.
2. Broad, Lifelong Goal(s) & Rationale: This lesson is relevant to students throughout their
lives because they will be learning a new genre of writing: postcard writing. In a time of
electronic devices and social media, postcards are becoming almost obsolete; this lesson will
help students to develop this skill. Students will also feel some fulfillment from writing to a
young child with the intentions of cheering them up.
3. Specific Daily Objective:
Students will learn how to write a postcard.
Students will begin thinking about their postcards to children who are sick.
4. Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. Assessment/Outcomes:
A formal assessment will take place through an extended assignment. Throughout the
quarter, students will be writing to children who have been diagnosed with a
serious/terminal illness. Every-other week, students are to choose a different child to
write to (from the approved website). The main goal of the students is to write something
that is intended to cheer-up the children. This activity will last the entire quarter (4-5
postcards). Students will be assessed using the handout/checklist provided to them.
6. Blooms Taxonomy:
Comprehension: Students will be able to describe the basic format of a postcard.
Synthesis: Students will compose a postcard to a child who is sick.
7. Language Requirements: There are no new vocabulary words for students to learn during
this lesson.
8. Materials: How to Write Postcard PowerPoint, Computer/SMART board, link to Send
Kids the World (sendkidstheworld.com), Send Kids the World: Postcard Writing
assignment handout and rubric, journal, pen/pencil.

9. Methods:
Beginning of Class:
The teacher will welcome the students to class.
Teacher will take attendance.
Students should work on their vocabulary page and Daily Language Work (DLW).
The teacher will go over the vocabulary page and DLW with the students. This
will be done by asking for volunteers to explain their answers or corrections
made, and the teacher will elaborate on the explanations.
(15 minutes)
Overview:
The teacher will explain that today students will be learning how to write a
postcard.
The teacher will explain that it is important to pay attention because it will help
them complete an assignment that will take place over the entire quarter
(assignment will be explained after the postcard format lesson).
(2 minutes)
Postcard Formatting:
The teacher will use the How to Write a Postcard PowerPoint to teach the
format of a postcard.
While going over the different elements of a basic postcard, the teacher will use
the pictures to further explain the format.
o These notes should be written in their journals.
The teacher will ask the students if they have any questions over the format of a
postcard.
(20 minutes)
Application:
The teacher will pass out the Sending Kids the World: Postcard Writing
assignment handout and rubric.
The teacher will explain that students will be writing to children who have been
diagnosed with serious/terminal illnesses.
Students will be responsible for writing to one child every-other week.
The postcards should take up most of the white space.
The postcard can be bought or made by the students
o Try to use pictures that younger children will like.
While it is important to use the postcard writing skills that they will be taught, the
main focus of this assignment is to attempt to cheer up a child that is going
through a difficult situation.
Students should turn in the postcards to the teacher.
The teacher will record the grade in the grade book, and send the postcard.

The teacher will explain that they will be using sendingkidstheworld.com to


find children to write to, Students cannot choose the same child as someone else,
and they are not allowed to write to the same child for multiple weeks.
The teacher will explain that they will go to the writing lab the next day to look at
the website and find a recipient for their first postcard.
If there is any extra time, the teacher will project the website onto the screen to
begin explaining how to use the website.
(15 minutes)

Closure:
The teacher will close the lesson by stating that the main goal of this assignment
is to cheer up kids who are going through an extremely hard time. While the
postcard writing skills are important, the most important thing is to cheer up the
kids.
The teacher will explore the website and write the first postcard in class.
o This will ensure that students understand how to complete the assignment.
The teacher will ask students if they have any questions concerning the homework
assignment.
The teacher will close with any final class or school announcements.
(3 minutes)
10. Adaptations: By participating in this service learning assignment, students have a chance to
learn a new skill. For students with ADHD, they will be sat near the front of the class, and
they will be given extra assistance for writing his postcards (all aligned with existing IEPs).
For students with vision problems, they can be sat closer to the board, or the teacher should
provide them with a printed version of the notes on the board.
11. Possible Problems & Solutions: One possible problem is that students will not take the
assignment seriously. To avoid this issue, I will make sure to stress the importance of our
main goal: making children happy. If students can still not take the assignment seriously, they
will be given an alternative assignment.

Send Kids the World: Postcard Writing


While reading The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain, we will be discussing a
lot about unfairness, terminal illness, and death. In order to apply these discussions outside of our
classroom, you will be writing postcards to children with terminal illnesses.
You will be responsible for:

Sending a postcard every other week for the quarter to a child (4-5 postcards).
Choosing a different child every other week from sendkidstheworld.com to send a
postcard to.
Buying or creating a postcard that will appeal to younger children.
o If you are creating the postcard, the image should take up most of the front side.
Writing something that is intended to cheer up the child.
Turning your postcard into the teacher.
o The teacher will record your grade and send the postcard for you.

***Remember that the most important thing is to try and cheer up a child who is sick.

Postcard Writing Checklist


During the quarter, use the checklist below to make sure that you have completed all parts of the
postcard (ask the teacher if you would like more copies). 40 points total.
You will be responsible for:
_____ Sending a postcard every other week for the quarter to a child (4-5 postcards).
_____ Choosing a different child every other week from sendkidstheworld.com to send a
postcard to.
_____ Buying or creating a postcard that will appeal to younger children.
_____ If you are creating the postcard, the image should take up most of the front side.
_____ Writing something that is intended to cheer up the child.
_____ Turning your postcard into the teacher.
_____ The teacher will record your grade and send the postcard for you.

Total: _____/40
Comments:

Reading: Theme
1. Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting. Mixed male and female students. Students will have begun reading their choice
novels. Students will be discussing the use of theme in a text and how to identify it.
2. Broad, Lifelong Goals/Rationale: By learning how to analyze theme, students can improve
their reading skills. By improving their reading skills, students will perform better in higher
education and professional/career fields, and they will have a better relationship with reading.
Students will also be able to interpret other texts for theme. By analyzing the theme of The
Unfairness of Life, student can better examine their own lives and the world around them
for unfairness and ways to overcome it.
3. Daily Objectives:
Students will be able to define theme and identify quotes that support a specific
theme.
Students will be able to analyze how a theme emerges and develops.
4. Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over
the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific
details; provide an objective summary of the text.
5. Assessment/Outcomes:
An informal assessment will take place during the discussion of theme in the guided
practice. The teacher will observe how well the students understand the concept of
unfairness. The teacher will also observe how well they can connect this theme to
their own lives and society.
A formal assessment will take place through an extended assignment. Throughout the
reading of The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain (students will
choose one), students will annotate for the theme The Unfairness of Life. The
students must identify quotes or passages from the text that contribute to the
development of this theme. This will prove the students understanding of theme and
their ability to identify its development in a novel. Students should have at least 20
annotations (1 point each=20 points total), which will be checked and graded during
the discussion on theme.
6. Blooms Taxonomy:
Knowledge: Students will be able to define theme.
Knowledge: Students will identify quotes that are examples of the theme The
Unfairness of Life.

Analyze: Students will examine how the theme emerged and developed by using
their quotes as evidence.
Synthesize: Students will compile a collection of quotes to support their analysis of
theme.

7. Language Requirements:
Theme
Unfair
8. Materials: The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain, Train to Somewhere
(picture book), The Unfairness of Life Definitions Word document (combined with
characterization lesson), annotation criteria, pencil, binder, post-it notes.
Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting
o Marianne, heading west with fourteen other children on an Orphan Train, is sure
her mother will show up at one of the stations along the way. When her mother
left Marianne at the orphanage, hadn't she promised she'd come for her after
making a new life in the West? Stop after stop goes by, and there's no sign of her
mother in the crowds that come to look over the children. No one shows any
interest in adopting shy, plain Marianne, either. But that's all right: She has to be
free for her mother to claim her. Then the train pulls into its final stop, a town
called Somewhere (Amazon.com).
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
o Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years,
Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon
diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly
appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazels story is about to be completely
rewritten (Barnesandnoble.com).
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Gath Stein
o On the eve of his death, Enzo [a dog] takes stock of his life, recalling all that he
and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed
professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle
over their daughter, Zo, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain
custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes
through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that
Denny will become a racing champion with Zo at his side. Having learned what
it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely
wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man
(Barnesandnoble.com).
9. Methods:
Beginning of Class:

The teacher will welcome the students to class.


Teacher will take attendance, and collect homework from the previous day.
Students should work on their vocabulary page and Daily Language Work (DLW).
The teacher will go over the vocabulary page and DLW with the students. This
will be done by asking for volunteers to explain their answers or corrections
made, and the teacher will elaborate on the explanations.
(15 minutes)
Anticipation:
The teacher will read Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting.
The teacher will ask students explain what Marianne is going through, and she
will ask the students if they think that is fair.
o Marianne is getting treated as if she isnt as good as the other orphans.
o Marianne suffers a hardship because her mother has left her.
o This does not seem fair.
(5 minutes)
Overview:
The teacher will explain that the students have already discussed the theme of
unfairness, but, now, they will begin to look at how the theme of unfairness is
portrayed in novels by looking for examples of the theme in their choice novels
(The Art of Racing in the Rain or The Fault in Our Stars).
The teacher will project a word document onto the screen to present the students
with the definition of unfairness that they created in the previous class.
Unfair:
o Student Definition: May slightly vary by class.
o Academic Definition: Treating people in a way that favors some over
others . . . marked by injustice, partiality, or deception (Merriam-Webster
Dictionary Online).
The teacher will read the definition aloud.
o The teacher will explain that everyone feels that they experience at least
one moment of unfairness in life. This unfairness could stem from the way
a parent/teacher treats an adolescent, losing a loved-one, being diagnosed
with an illness, etc. The important thing is succeeding in some way,
regardless of this unfairness.
(5 minutes)
Modeling:
The teacher will begin discussing unfairness.
The teacher should say that everyone experiences unfairness in life. It can be big
or small, but it will always feel like something to overcome.
Teacher should talk about a time that she felt like she was experiencing
unfairness, and how she overcame it.

o Example: When I was in high school, I didnt like group projects. I always
did most of the work because my group members wouldnt try. I felt like
this was really unfair to me. I overcame it by talking to my teacher
whenever this happened in order to figure out a solution.
(5 minutes)
Guided Practice:
The teacher will instruct students to turn to a partner and discuss unfairness, and
write notes about the discussion in their binders (about 5 minutes).
Students should focus on unfairness in their lives or society. They should also
discuss how they overcame this unfairness or how someone could overcome it.
Teacher should walk around the room and monitor discussions.
After 5 minutes, the teacher should call the class to attention. Students can
volunteer to share points of their discussion with the whole class.
The teacher should explain that the characters in their novels go through
experiences that seem really unfair: illness, loss, and so much more (none of these
are spoilers).
(10 minutes).
Application:
While reading their choice novel (The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in
the Rain), students will annotate for the theme The Unfairness of Life.
o Lesson on annotations takes place at the beginning of the year.
The teacher will explain that annotations are important because they help us
organize our thoughts and responses to a text, and they help us identity important
concepts/events in a text.
The teacher will pass out the handout for annotation criteria.
Students should focus on quotes or portions of texts that show the development of
the theme.
o This could include:
Experiences of unfairness by the characters.
How the characters succeeded at something despite this unfairness.
Connections to events in the students lives or society.
Any other quotes or passages that the students feel are important to
the development of the theme.
o Example Annotation:
It is unfair that Hazel has to go to support group when she doesnt
want to go, but it may help her feel better.
The teacher will remind students that they can write the annotations in the text if
they own the book. If they do not own the book, they may use post-it notes.
Students should have 20 annotations (1 point each=20points total).
The teacher will tell students that she will check their annotations during their
discussion of theme.

(5 minutes)
Closure:
The teacher will close the lesson by stating that theme is important when reading
because it helps us respond and connect to a text better. The theme teaches us
important lessons about life and society, which will help students examine the
world around them.
The teacher will ask students if they have any questions concerning the homework
assignment.
The teacher will close with any final class or school announcements.
(5 minutes)
10. Adaptations: By participating in a partner and whole class discussion, students have a
chance to share and discuss thoughts with the teacher or peers. For students with ADHD,
they will be sat near the front of the class, and they will be given extra assistance for finding
examples of theme if needed (all aligned with existing IEPs). For students with vision
problems, they can be sat closer to the board, or the teacher should provide them with a
printed version of the notes on the board.
11. Possible Problems & Solutions: A potential problem could be lack of participation or too
much noise during the guided practice. This problem can be solved by having the teacher
walk around the room to monitor the discussion and noise. A problem could occur if the
technology is not working. This can be addressed by providing a handout of the notes to the
students.

Reading: Characterization
1. Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting. Mixed male and female students. Students should be a quarter of the way through
reading their choice novels. Students will be discussing the use of characterization in a text
and how to identify it.
2. Broad, Lifelong Goals/Rationale: By learning how to analyze characterization, students can
improve their reading skills. By improving their reading skills, students will perform better in
higher education and professional/career fields, and they will have a better relationship with
reading. Students will also be able to interpret other texts for characterizations.
Characterization helps students to analyze and interpret the personality and characteristics of
the people around them.
3. Daily Objectives:
a. Students will be able to define characterization, direct characterization, and
indirect characterization.
b. Students will be able to analyze how a complex character develops, interacts, and
advances the theme over the course of a text.
c. Students will be able to identify quotes to support their analysis.
4. Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.3
Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting
motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and
advance the plot or develop the theme.
5. Assessment/Outcomes:
An informal assessment will take place during the discussion of characterization in the
guided practice. The teacher will observe how well the students can identify elements of
characterization in a novel.
A formal assessment will take place through an extended assignment. Throughout the
reading of The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain (students will choose
one), students will annotate for characterization. The students must identify quotes or
passages from the text that contribute to the development of characters. This will prove
the students understanding of characterization and their ability to identify its
development in a novel. Students should have at least 20 annotations (1 point each=20
points total), which will be checked and graded during the discussion on characterization.
6. Blooms Taxonomy:
Knowledge: Students will be able to define characterization, direct
characterization, and indirect characterization.

Knowledge: Students will identify quotes that show the development of a character.
Analyze: Students will examine the characters looks, personality, development,
interactions with other characters, and advancement of the theme by using quotes as
evidence.
Synthesize: Students will compile a collection of quotes to support their analysis of
characterization.

7. Language Requirements:
Characterization
Direct Characterization
Indirect Characterization
8. Materials: The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain, Weslandia (picture
book), Characterization Definitions Word document (combined with lesson on theme),
annotation criteria, pencil, binder, and post-it notes.
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman
o Enter the witty, intriguing world of Weslandia! Now that school is over, Wesley
needs a summer project. Hes learned that each civilization needs a staple food
crop, so he decides to sow a garden and start his own civilization. He turns over
a plot of earth, and plants begin to grow. They soon tower above him and bear a
curious-looking fruit. As Wesley experiments, he finds that the plant will provide
food, clothing, shelter, and even recreation. It isnt long before his neighbors and
classmates develop more than an idle curiosity about Wesley - and exactly how he
is spending his summer vacation (Barnesandnoble.com).
9. Methods:
Beginning of Class:
The teacher will welcome the students to class.
Teacher will take attendance.
Students should work on their vocabulary page and Daily Language Work (DLW).
The teacher will go over the vocabulary page and DLW with the students. This
will be done by asking for volunteers to explain their answers or corrections
made, and the teacher will elaborate on the explanations.
(15 minutes)
Anticipation:
The teacher will read Weslandia by Paul Fleischman.
The teacher will ask the students to describe the characters in the story.
o After each description, the teacher will ask the students to explain how
they know that about the character.
(5 minutes)
Overview:

The teacher will explain that they are able to describe the characters by using
characterization. The teacher will explain that, while reading their choice novel,
students will annotate for characterization in the novel.
The terms characterization, direct characterization, and indirect
characterization will be review for the students.
The teacher will ask students to define these terms in their own words.
After students have defined the terms, the teacher will project a word document
onto the screen to present the students with the definitions of characterization,
direct characterization, and indirect characterization.
Characterization:
o Student Definition: The intentional development of a character to make
the character more realistic, and to create a reaction from the reader.
o Academic Definition: An author or poet's use of description, dialogue,
dialect, and action to create in the reader an emotional or intellectual
reaction to a character or to make the character more vivid and realistic.
Careful readers note each character's attitude and thoughts, actions and
reaction, as well as any language that reveals geographic, social, or
cultural background (http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms.html).
Direct Characterization:
o Student Definition: Explicit details about a character delivered by the
narrator, another character, of the character himself/herself.
o Academic Definition: This kind of characterization takes a direct
approach towards building the character. It uses another character, narrator
or the protagonist himself to tell the readers or audience about the subject
(http://literarydevices.net/characterization/).
Indirect Characterization:
o Student Definition: Implied characteristics that are given in subtle ways.
o Academic Definition: This is a more subtle way of introducing the
character to the audience. The audience has to deduce for themselves the
characteristics of the character by observing his/her thought process,
behavior, speech, way of talking, appearance, and way of communication
with other characters and also by discerning the response of other
characters (http://literarydevices.net/characterization/).
The teacher will explain that, when analyzing indirect characterization, you
should look at 5 things:
o Appearance of the characters.
o Thoughts of the characters.
o Actions of the characters.
o Words of the characters.
o Interactions with and reactions of other characters.
(5 minutes)

Modeling:
The teacher will explain how the 5 categories can contribute to characterization.
o If the character is rude, we might assume that he is a bully.
o If the other characters dont seem shocked when the main character does
something good, we might assume that she is normally a good person.
o The teacher will then ask for a few other examples from students.
(5 minutes)
Guided Practice:
The teacher will instruct students to find a partner that is reading the same choice
novel as them in order to discuss the characterization of the characters in the
novels (about 5 minutes).
Students should focus on the characters in their novels. What do you know so far
that is direct characterization? What can be implied through indirect
characterization?
The teacher will call the class back to a whole-class discussion. Students can
volunteer to share their thoughts on character development.
(10 minutes)
Application:
While reading their choice novel (The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in
the Rain), students will annotate for characterization.
o Lesson on annotations takes place at the beginning of the year.
The teacher will remind students that annotations are important because they help
us organize our thoughts and responses to a text, and they help us identity
important concepts/events in a text.
The teacher will have students take out their handout for annotation requirements.
Students should focus on quotes or portions of texts that show characterization.
o This could include:
Instances of direct characterization.
Instances of indirect characterization.
Appearance of the characters.
Thoughts of the characters.
Actions of the characters.
Words of the characters.
Interactions with and reactions of other characters.
Any other quotes or passages that the students feel are important to
characterization.
o Example:
Hazel is really concerned about her parents. This is indirect
characterization that shows that Hazel is a caring and selfless
person.

o The teacher will explain that students should also focus on how these
characterizations affect the unfairness in the characters lives and how they
overcome it.
The teacher will remind students that they can write the annotations in the text if
they own the book. If they do not own the book, they may use post-it notes.
Students should have 20 annotations (1 point each=20 points total).
The teacher will tell students that she will check their annotations during their
discussion on characterization.
(5 minutes)
Closure:
The teacher will close the lesson by stating that characterization is important
when reading because it helps us better understand the characters and the way
they develop. This is important because this can affect the way the plot or theme
develops. Characterization can also help us personally connect to the characters,
which can make reading more enjoyable.
The teacher will ask students if they have any questions concerning the homework
assignment.
The teacher will close with any final class or school announcements.
(5 minutes)
10. Adaptations: By participating in a partner and whole-class discussion, students have a
chance to share and discuss thoughts with the teacher or peers. For students with ADHD,
they will be sat near the front of the class, and they will be given extra assistance for finding
examples of theme if needed (all aligned with existing IEPs). For students with vision
problems, they can be sat closer to the board, or the teacher should provide them with a
printed version of the notes on the board.

11.

Possible Problems & Solutions: A potential problem could be lack of participation or


too much noise during the guided practice. This problem can be fined by having the teacher
walk around the room to monitor the discussion and noise. A problem could occur if the
technology is not working. This can be addressed by providing a handout of the notes to the
students.

Unfairness of Life Theme Definitions


Theme: A common idea presented throughout a text.
Unfairness: (Insert class definition)

Characterization Definitions
Characterization: The intentional development of a character to make the
character more realistic, and to create a reaction from the reader.
Direct Characterization: Explicit details about a character delivered by the
narrator, another character, of the character himself/herself.
Indirect Characterization: Implied characteristics that are given in subtle
ways.
There are 5 things to look at when analyzing indirect characteristics:
1. Appearance of the characters.
2. Thoughts of the characters.
3. Actions of the characters.
4. Words of the characters.
5. Interactions with and reactions of other characters.

Annotation Guidelines for


The Fault in Our Stars
or
The Art of Racing in the Rain
While you are reading your choice novel, you should annotate your text for development of
theme and characterization. Annotations are important because they help us identify and respond
to certain concepts/events in a novel.
You should have at least 20 annotations for the development of theme, and at least 20
annotations for the development of characterization.
Each annotation is worth 1 point. That equals 20 points for annotations of theme, and 20 points
on annotations for characterization. I will check your annotations on our discussion days.
Theme: Students should focus on quotes or portions of texts that show the development of the
theme. This could include:
Experiences of unfairness by the characters.
How the characters succeeded at something despite this unfairness.
Connections to events in the students lives or society.
Any other quotes or passages that the students feel are important to the development of
the theme.
Characterization: Students should focus on quotes or portions of texts that show
characterization. This could include:
Instances of direct characterization.
Instances of indirect characterization.
o Annotations should explain what the indirect characterization means.
o Appearance of the characters.
o Thoughts of the characters.
o Actions of the characters.
o Words of the characters.
o Interactions with and reactions of other characters.
Any other quotes or passages that the students feel are important to characterization.

Speaking/Listening: Small Group Discussions


(Theme)
1. Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting. Mixed male and female students. Students should be finished reading their choice
novels. Students will be discussing the theme in a text and how to identify it.
2. Broad Lifelong Goals/Rationale: Students should learn how discuss the theme of a novel
by using evidence (annotations). This will prepare students for higher education by teaching
them how to identify evidence, and how to discuss and explain ideas to peers/teachers. This
will also allow students to examine their lives and the society around them for unfairness.
This is important because it gives students the ability to identify a problem that they can
overcome or help others through. This also allows students to objectively examine, gather
evidence from, and build thoughts/opinions of the society around them.
3. Specific Daily Objectives:
Students will have annotated their texts for evidence of unfairness, and be prepared
for discussion.
Students will express their thoughts and evidence clearly during a group discussion.
Students will relate to the findings of other group members and real-world situations.
4. Common Core Standard:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over
the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific
details; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one,
in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and
issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.A
Come to discussions prepared having read and researched material under study;
explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other
research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of
ideas.
5. Assessment/Outcomes:
Students will be assessed by the teacher monitoring and observing the group
discussions. Along with observing, the teacher will briefly talk with each group and
ask questions in order to verify that each student is participating in the discussions.
The teacher will check that each student has annotations written in the text or on post-

it notes that show evidence of the theme The Unfairness of Life in the text. The
teacher will use the Discussion Evaluation sheet to check that all students have
come prepared with annotations and participate in the discussion. Discussion is worth
20 points.
6. Blooms Taxonomy:
Comprehend: Students will discuss and explain the theme in The Fault in Our Stars
or The Art of Racing in the Rain. Students will locate and give examples from the
text.
Apply: Students will contribute to the discussion by providing explanations and
examples. Students will relate their findings to those of other group members and
real-world situations.
7. Language Requirements: Students may need to review and clarify the term theme. There
are no new vocabulary words for students to learn during this lesson.
8. Materials: Discussion Questions word document, The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Fault
in Our Stars, post-it notes, pencil, notebook paper, and The Unfairness of Life Discussion
evaluation sheet.
9. Methods:
Prior to class, students will have finished reading The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of
Racing in the Rain. Students will have learned about the theme of The Unfairness of
Life in the texts, and students should have annotated their texts while reading for
evidence of this theme.
Beginning of Class:
The teacher will welcome the students to class.
Students should working on their vocabulary page and Daily Language Work
(DLW).
The teacher will go over the vocabulary page and DLW with the students. This
will be done by asking for volunteers to explain their answers or corrections
made, and the teacher will elaborate on the explanations.
(15 minutes)
Anticipation:
Before the class arrives the teacher will write a journal prompt on the board: Do
you think The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain presents the
theme of The Unfairness of Life well or not? Explain your answer using
evidence from the text.
Once the students have finished their vocabulary and DLW practice, the teacher
will instruct the students to place their books on the desk so that she can check for
annotations, and that they should respond to the prompt on the board in their

journals. The teacher will read the prompt aloud and emphasize that students are
to use evidence from the text.
Students will begin responding to the prompt in the notes section of their binder.
The teacher will walk around the room, and quickly flip through students books
to check for annotations of the theme either written in the book or on post-it notes.
o The teacher will use the The Unfairness of Life Discussion evaluation
sheet to check next to each students name that they have annotations. This
will also serve as a record for attendance.
(5 minutes)
Overview:
The teacher will explain to students that today they will be getting into groups to
discuss the theme of The Unfairness in Life in the text they chose. (The theme
was introduced at the beginning of the unit, and students have been required to
annotate the text for this).
Modeling:
The teacher will explain to students that having a discussion means that all
members are participating and contributing their thoughts to the topic. The teacher
will also tell students that explaining their thoughts means that they use evidence
from the text (their annotations) or connections to real-world situations.
o Example: It was unfair for Peter Van Houten treated Hazel during their
visit. He basically crushed her dream. I felt that my parents were being
unfair because they wouldnt let me go out even though my homework
was done.
The teacher will explain that students should try to make connections to their
group members findings when discussing.
The teacher will project the Discussion Questions word document on the
screen.
The teacher will read each of the questions to the class and briefly explain that
they can use these questions to get started.
The teacher will explain that students can also use their responses to the journal
prompt as a starting point for discussion.
The teacher should also encourage students to use elaboration questions when
listening to their peers responses.
o Why do you think that?
o Is there any evidence in the text for that?
o How do you see that in society?
o Can someone connect off what they just said?
The teacher will inform students that they will need to take their books, pencil,
paper, and post-it notes with them.
The teacher will ask students to raise their hands if they read The Fault in Our
Stars. The teacher will then count students off by two. All students with the

number 1 will be The Fault in Our Stars Group 1. All students with the number 2
will the The Fault in Our Stars Group 2.
The teacher will then ask students to raise their hands if they read The Art of
Racing in the Rain. The teacher will then count students off by two. All students
with the number 1 will be The Art of Racing in the Rain Group 1. All students
with the number 2 will the The Art of Racing in the Rain Group 2.
The teacher will designate an area in the classroom for each group.
The teacher will instruct students to take their materials and move to their
designated area quickly.
(5 minutes)
Application:
Students will begin discussing with their groups.
For the first 5 minutes, the teacher should just observe the students as they begin,
and make any marks or comments on the The Unfairness of Life Discussion
evaluation sheet.
After 5 minutes, the teacher should rotate among the groups.
o The teacher should listen to students discuss or ask elaboration questions.
Why do you think that?
Is there any evidence in the text for that?
How do you see that in society?
Can someone connect off what they just said?
o The teacher should make marks or comments on the evaluation sheet.
o The teacher should spend no more than 3 minutes with each group (about
12 minutes total).
Once the teacher meets with each group, she should continue to rotate around the
room, observe the groups, and make marks on the evaluation sheet.
o The teacher should also use this time to engage students who still need
participation points.
The teacher should warn students to begin wrapping-up when they have about 5
minutes left.
(20-25minutes)
End of Class:
The teacher will have students return back to their desks quickly and quietly.
The teacher will end class by delivering any classroom or school announcements.
(5 minutes)
10. Adaptations: By participating in small group discussions, students have a chance to share
and discuss their thoughts with their peers. This will allow for students to receive a better
understanding of the text through peer explanations. For students with ADHD, they will be
sat near the front of the class, and they will be given extra assistance for finding examples of
theme if needed (in accordance with IEP). For students with vision problems, they can be sat

closer to the board, or the teacher should provide them with a printed version of the notes on
the board.
11. Possible Problems & Solutions: A potential problem could occur through lack of
participation or the discussion getting out of hand. Both of these issues would be solved by
the teacher guiding and controlling the groups during the discussion. By allowing time to
write down their thoughts (journal prompt) and to gather evidence (annotations), all students
should be focused on the discussion and have at least one idea to contribute. Asking students
elaboration questions will engage them and guide the discussion if it is needed. Another
problem could be that some students do not have their annotation or they have not read.
These students will work independently to read or annotate their text.

The Unfairness of Life Discussion


For each student, check the boxes to document participation during discussion and notes on The Unfairness of Life.
()=Active participation/5-4 points
(+)=Some participation/3-2 points (-)=Little or no participation/1-0 points

Student

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

Annotations
(20 Points)

Participation in
Discussion
(10 Points)

Additional Comments

Student

14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.

Annotations
(20 Points)

Participation in
Discussion
(10 Points)

Additional Comments

The Unfairness of Life Discussion Questions


1. Do you think that all of the characters experienced unfairness, or did only a few
characters experience it? Explain your answer.
2. When do the characters experience moments of unfairness? Why does this moment
seem unfair to them?
3. How do the characters push through this unfairness to succeed at something? How does
the character stay positive during these times?
4. Do you think a characters experience of unfairness was necessary to accomplish
something else? What else did they accomplish? How did this help them in their
accomplishment?
5. Can you connect any of these experiences to your own life or any other part of reality?
Explain your answer.

Elaboration Questions

Why do you think that?

Is there any evidence in the text for that?

How do you see that in society?

Can someone connect off what they just said?

Speaking/Listening: Small Group Discussions


(Characterization)
1. Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting. Mixed male and female students. Students should be finished reading their choice
novels. Students will be discussing characterization in a text and how to identify it.
2. Broad Lifelong Goals/Rationale: Students should learn how discuss characterization in a
novel by using evidence (annotations). This will prepare students for higher education by
teaching them how to identify evidence, and how to discuss and explain ideas to
peers/teachers. Students will also be able to interpret and discuss characterization in other
texts. By learning how to analyze characterization, students can improve their reading skills.
By improving their reading skills, students will perform better in higher education and
professional/career fields, and they will have a better relationship with reading.
Characterization helps students to analyze and interpret the personality and characteristics of
the people around them.
3. Specific Daily Objectives:
Students will have annotated their texts for evidence of characterization, and be
prepared for discussion..
Students will express their thoughts and evidence clearly during a group discussion.
Students will relate to the finding of other group members and real-world situations.
4. Common Core Standard:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.3
Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting
motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and
advance the plot or develop the theme.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one,
in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and
issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.A
Come to discussions prepared having read and researched material under study;
explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other
research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of
ideas.
5. Assessment/Outcomes:
Students will be assessed by the teacher monitoring and observing the group
discussions. Along with observing, the teacher will briefly talk with each group and

ask questions in order to verify that each student is participating in the discussion.
The teacher will check that each student has annotations written in the text or on postit notes that show evidence of characterization in the text. The teacher will use the
discussion evaluation sheet to check that all students have come prepared with
annotations and participate in the discussion. Discussion is worth 20 points.
6. Blooms Taxonomy:
Comprehend: Students will discuss and explain characterization in The Fault in Our
Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain. Students will locate and give examples from
the text.
Apply: Students will contribute to the discussion by providing explanations and
examples. Students will relate their findings to those of other group members.
7. Language Requirements: Students may need to review and clarify the term
characterization, direct characterization, and indirect characterization. There are no
new vocabulary words for students to learn during this lesson.
8. Materials: Discussion Questions word document, The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Fault
in Our Stars, post-it notes, pencil, notebook paper, and Characterization in Novels
Discussion evaluation sheet.
9. Methods:
Prior to class, students will have finished reading The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of
Racing in the Rain. Students will have learned about characterization in texts, and
students should have annotated their texts while reading for evidence of
characterization for different characters.
Beginning of Class:
The teacher will welcome the students to class.
Students should work on their vocabulary page and Daily Language Work
(DLW).
The teacher will go over the vocabulary page and DLW with the students. This
will be done by asking for volunteers to explain their answers or corrections
made, and the teacher will elaborate on the explanations.
(15 minutes)
Anticipation:
Before the class arrives the teacher will write a journal prompt on the board:
Do you think The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain
presents and develops the characters of the novels well or not? Explain your
answer using evidence from the text.
Once the students have finished their vocabulary and DLW practice, the
teacher will instruct the students to place their books on the desks so that she
can check for annotations, and that they should respond to the prompt on the

board in their journals. The teacher will read the prompt aloud and emphasize
that students are to use evidence from the text.
Students will begin responding to the prompt in the notes section of their
binder.
The teacher will walk around the room, and quickly flip through students
books to check for annotations of characterization either written in the book or
on post-it notes.
o The teacher will use the Characterization in Novels Discussion
evaluation sheet to check next to each students name that they have
annotations. This will also serve as a record for attendance.
(5 minutes)
Overview:
The teacher will explain to students that today they will be getting into groups
to discuss the use of characterization in the text they chose. (Characterization
was introduced at the beginning of the unit, and students have been required to
annotate the text for this).
(2 minutes)
Modeling
The teacher will explain to students that having a discussion means that all
members are participating and contributing their thoughts to the topic. The
teacher will also tell students that explaining their thoughts means that they
use evidence from the text (their annotations).
o Example: It was unfair for Peter Van Houten treated Hazel during their
visit. He basically crushed her dream. This shows that Van Houten is
rude and cold.
The teacher will explain that students should try to make connections to their
group members findings when discussing.
The teacher will project the Discussion Questions word document on the
screen.
The teacher will read each of the questions to the class and briefly explain that
they can use these questions to get started.
The teacher will explain that students can also use their responses to the
journal prompt as a starting point for discussion.
The teacher should also encourage students to use elaboration questions when
listening to their peers responses.
o Why do you think that?
o Is there any evidence in the text for that?
o Can someone connect off what they just said?
The teacher will inform students that they will need to take their books,
pencil, paper, and post-it notes with them.

The teacher will ask students to raise their hands if they read The Fault in Our
Stars. The teacher will then count students off by two. All students with the
number 1 will be The Fault in Our Stars Group 1. All students with the
number 2 will the The Fault in Our Stars Group 2.
The teacher will then ask students to raise their hands if they read The Art of
Racing in the Rain. The teacher will then count students off by two. All
students with the number 1 will be The Art of Racing in the Rain Group 1. All
students with the number 2 will the The Art of Racing in the Rain Group 2.
The teacher will designate an area in the classroom for each group.
The teacher will instruct students to take their materials and move to their
designated area quickly.
(5 minutes)
Application:
Students will begin discussing with their groups.
For the first 5 minutes, the teacher should just observe the students as they
begin, and make any marks or comments on the discussion evaluation sheet.
After 5 minutes, the teacher should rotate among the groups.
o The teacher should listen to students discuss or ask elaboration
questions.
Why do you think that?
Is there any evidence in the text for that?
Can someone connect off what they just said?
o The teacher should make marks or comments on the Characterization
in Novels evaluation sheet.
o The teacher should spend no more than 3 minutes with each group
(about 12 minutes total).
Once the teacher meets with each group, she should continue to rotate around
the room, observe the groups, and make marks on the evaluation sheet.
o The teacher should also use this time to engage students who still need
participation points.
The teacher should warn students to begin wrapping-up when they have about
5 minutes left.
(20-28 minutes)
End of Class:
The teacher will have students return back to their desks quickly and quietly.
The teacher will end class by delivering any classroom or school
announcements.
(5 minutes)
10. Adaptations: By participating in small group discussions, students have a chance to share
and discuss thoughts with the peers. This will allow for students to receive a better
understanding of the text through peer explanations. For students with ADHD, they will be
sat near the front of the class, and they will be given extra assistance for finding examples of

theme if needed (in accordance with IEP). For students with vision problems, they can be sat
closer to the board, or the teacher should provide them with a printed version of the notes on
the board.
11. Possible Problems & Solutions: A potential problem could occur through lack of
participation or the discussion getting out of hand. Both of these issues would be solved by
the teacher guiding and controlling the groups during the discussion. By allowing time to
write down their thoughts (journal prompt) and to gather evidence (annotations), all students
should be focused on the discussion and have at least one idea to contribute. Asking students
elaboration questions will engage them and guide the discussion if it is needed. Another
problem could be that some students do not have their annotation or they have not read.
These students will work independently to read or annotate their text.

Characterization in Novels Discussion


For each student, check the boxes to document participation during discussion and notes on Characterization.
()=Active participation/5-4 points
(+)=Some participation/3-2 points (-)=Little or no participation/1-0 points

Student

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

Annotations
(20 Points)

Participation in
Discussion
(10 Points)

Additional Comments

Student

14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.

Annotations
(20 Points)

Participation in
Discussion
(10 Points)

Additional Comments

Characterization in Novels Discussion Questions


1. How were the main characters developed? Explain your answer using direct and
indirect examples of characterization.
2. How were the supporting characters developed? Explain your answer using direct and
indirect examples of characterization.
3. Do you think there were any characters that didnt develop/change over the entire
novel? Explain your answer.
4. Which character, main or supporting, do you believe developed/changed the most
during the entire novel? Explain your answer.
5. Did the characterization of certain characters help develop our guiding questions?
How do you define unfairness?
What are some examples of unfairness in the world?
Is experiencing unfairness a necessary part of life?
How do people overcome unfairness?

Elaboration Questions

Why do you think that?

Is there any evidence in the text for that?

Can someone connect off what they just said?

Found Poetry
1

Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting. Mixed male and female student population. Mixed socioeconomic status. Students
should have finished reading their choice novels. Students will be addressing theme and
characterization through songs. This lesson will look at quotes, theme, and found poetry.

Broad, Lifelong Goal(s) & Rationale: This lesson is relevant to students throughout high
school and college because students will be referring to and analyzing theme. This lesson
allows students to connect their choice novel to poetry through a common theme: the
unfairness of life. Also, this lesson will help students realize that they will encounter central
themes in different genres and the world around them as they transition into adulthood.

Specific Daily Objective:


Students will discuss found poetry.
Students will work in groups of two to create a small found poem based on their choice
novel.
Students will create found poems that represent the central theme (the unfairness of life)
of their choice novel by using their theme, characterization, and memorable quotes
annotations.

Common Core Standards:


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course
of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details;
provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Assessment/Outcomes:
An informal assessment will take place during the partner discussion and creation of a
found poem. Students will create a found poem to represent the central theme of the
novel that is five lines and uses words and phrases from five different quotes. The teacher
will walk around the room to help students and observe how well the students understand
how to create a found poem. The teacher will also assess that students understand found
poetry by collecting and reading the poems they have written.
A formal assessment will take place through a homework assignment. Students will
create a found poem that conveys the theme The Unfairness of Life by using words and
phrases from The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain. Students will
choose ten quotes that they will use to choose their words and phrases. Students will then
rearrange these words and phrases into a found poem that is at least ten lines. Students

should type their poems, and the full quotes they chose (using correct citation). The
students will read their poems to the class. See all of the guidelines and instructions in the
assignment packet. 60 points.
6

Blooms Taxonomy:
Knowledge: Students will identify quotes in a novel that reinforce the central theme.
Application: Students will organize their chosen quotes into the form of a poem.
Synthesize: Students will create a found poem that represents the theme of the novel.

Language Requirements:
Found Poem
o Student-Friendly: A type of poetry that is created by taking words or phrases from
other sources (books, articles, etc.), and rearranging them into the form of a poem
(usually free verse).
o Academic Definition: Composition made by combining fragments of printed
material, such as newspapers, signs, or menus, and rearranging them into the form
of a poem.
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/found+poem)
Materials: The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain, Found Poetry criteria
handout, The Unfairness of Life Found Poem assignment packet, Example Found Poem
digital copy (included on criteria handout), pencil/pen, English binder, notebook paper.

Methods:
Beginning of Class:
The teacher will welcome the students to class.
Teacher will take attendance.
Students should work on their vocabulary page and their Daily Language Work
(DLW).
The teacher will go over the vocabulary page and DLW with the students. This
will be done by asking for volunteers to explain their answers or corrections
made, and the teacher will elaborate on the explanations.
(15 minutes)
Anticipation:
The teacher will tell students that they have a few minutes to write down their
favorite quote from their book.
Once students have written down their quote, they will share it with a partner.
(5 minutes)
Overview:

The teacher will explain to the students that during todays class, they will learn
about found poetry.
The teacher will pass out the Found Poetry criteria handout, which defines
found poetry and explain how to create a found poem. The handout should be
placed in the notes section of their English binder.
o A type of poetry that is created by taking words or phrases from other
sources (books, articles, etc.), and rearranging them into the form of a
poem (usually free verse).
The teacher will explain that to create a found poem, you must first select and
read a text to inspire your poem.
Next, you must select a central idea or theme that will be the focus of the poem.
Third, you must select words and phrases from the text that convey your selected
theme.
Fourth, you must rearrange the words and phrases to form your poem.
o The lines should flow and have a logical sequence.
o You should not add any additional words that are not present in your
selection.
o A found poem can take any form, but it is usually created in free verse.
o Remember: poems do not always rhyme.
Finally, give your poem a creative title.
(10 minutes)
Modeling:
The teacher will use the smart board to show students an example of found poetry.
o Example is included on the Found Poetry handout.
The teacher will explain how the poem fits all of the above criteria.
(5 minutes)
Guided Practice:
Students will create a found poem focused on the central theme that is five lines
with a partner.
o Students should choose a partner who has read the same novel as them.
Students will write their poem on a piece of notebook paper, and they will write
their quotes on the back side of the paper (using correct citations).
The teacher will encourage students to use their annotations on theme,
characterization, and memorable quotes to find words and phrases.
During this time, the teacher will be open to questions and will walk around assist
students.
The students will turn in their poems.
(10 minutes)
Application:

The teacher will hand out the Unfairness of Life Found Poem packet and
explain the assignment to students.
Students will write their own found poem based on our central theme using words
and phrases from The Fault in our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain.
The poems should be at least ten lines, and students should use words and phrases
from at least ten different quotes
The students should follow the criteria on the Found Poetry handout.
The poem should be typed (MLA format).
Students will also turn in a typed list of the quotes that they used (using correct
citation).
Students will present their poems to the class.
The students will have a few minutes to begin working on their poems.
(7 minutes)
Closure:
The teacher will close the lesson by stating that students will encounter central
themes in several different types of genres that they encounter throughout school
and their daily lives.
The teacher will ask students if they have any questions concerning the homework
assignment.
The teacher will close with any final class or school announcements.
(4 minutes)
10. Adaptations: By participating in partner discussion, students have a chance to share and
discuss thoughts with the teacher or peers. For students with ADHD, they will be sat near the
front of the class, and they will be given extra assistance for finding songs that connect to the
theme/character chosen if needed (all aligned with existing IEPs). For students with vision
problems, they can be sat closer to the board, or the teacher should provide them with a printed
version.
11. Possible Problems & Solutions: A potential problem could be lack of participation or too
much noise during the partner discussion. This problem can be fixed by having the teacher walk
around the room to monitor the discussion and noise. A problem could occur if the technology is
not working. This can be addressed by providing a handout of the model poem.

Found Poetry
Definition: A type of poetry that is created by taking words or phrases from other sources
(books, articles, etc.), and rearranging them into the form of a poem (usually free verse).

How to create a found poem:


1. Select and read a text to inspire your poem.
2. Select a central idea, theme, or topic that will be the focus of the poem.
3. Select words, phrases, or sentences from the text that convey your idea, theme, or topic.
4. Rearrange the words, phrases, or sentences to form your poem.

The lines should flow and have a logical sequence.


You should not add any additional words that are not present in the
quotes you have chosen.
Remember: poems do not always rhyme.

5. Give your poem a creative title.

Example: A found poem uses language from other texts and turns it into poetry. Think of like a
collage of words and phrases. Writing this type of poetry is a kind of treasure hunt. Search for
interesting scraps of language, then put them together in different ways and see what comes out.
Putting seemingly unrelated things together can create a kind of chemical spark, leading to
surprising results.
FOUND POETRY

treasure of scraps of language


words and phrases

put them together


in different ways
spark surprising results

The Unfairness of Life


Found Poem
You will be creating a found poem focused on our central theme: The Unfairness of
Life. Use The Fault in our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain to find quotes to
create your poem. 60 points.
Guidelines:

The poem should be at least ten lines long.


Use at least ten different quotes from the book to select words, phrases, or
sentences.
o Use your annotation on theme, characterization, and memorable
quotes to help find quotes.
Follow the steps on the Found Poetry handout to create the poem.
The poem should be typed. You may use any font as long as it is legible.
The quotes selected are typed on a separate sheet of paper.
o Underline the parts of the quote that were used in the poem.
o Use correct parenthetical citation.
Present your poem to the class.

Model:

LOST LOVE
The thing about death

is that it eventually takes us all.


So far it has spared me,
but you are gone.
You were supposed to be strong,
young,
idealistic.
You left me.
I hurt,

but I am also alive.

Found Poem Checklist


Use the checklist below to make sure that you have followed all of the guidelines for
creating your found poem.

The poem is at least ten lines long. (5 points)


At least ten different quotes from the book have been used to select words,
phrases, or sentences. (1 points per quote=10 points)

Use your annotation on theme, characterization, and memorable


quotes to help find quotes.

Follow the steps on the Found Poetry handout to create the poem.

The poem represents the central theme. (10 points)


The poem flows and follows a logical sequence. (5 points)
All words in the poem are from the quotes selected. (5 points)
The poem has a creative title. (5 points)

The poem is typed. (5 points)

The font is legible.

The quotes selected are typed on a separate sheet of paper.

Underline the parts of the quote that were used in the poem. (5 points)
Use correct parenthetical citation. (5 points)

Present the poem to the class. (5 points)


TOTAL: ______/60
COMMENTS:

Theme and Characterization in Music


Part 1
1. Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting. Mixed male and female students. Mixed socioeconomic status. Students should have
finished reading their choice novels. Students will be addressing theme and characterization
through songs.
2. Broad, Lifelong Goals/Rationale: This lesson is relevant to students throughout high school
and college because students will be referring to and analyzing theme and characterization in
higher education. Also, students will encounter central themes in the world around them as
they transition into adulthood. Characterization helps students to analyze and interpret the
personality and characteristics of the people around them. This lesson will also help students
to view the themes and details in music that can connect to literature and society.
3. Daily Objectives:
Students will analyze songs that are focused around the theme of the unfairness of life
or characterization.
Students will take time to listen to songs and write reflections about their relevance to the
theme or details of characters.
Students will discuss these connections.
Students will begin choosing songs for their soundtrack.
4. Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.3
Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations)
develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or
develop the theme.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the
course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details;
provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including
figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word
choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place;
how it sets a formal or informal tone).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive
elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence
and to add interest.

5. Assessment/Outcomes:
An informal assessment will take place during the partner discussion of the songs. The
teacher will observe how well the students can identify elements of characterization and
theme in songs. The teacher will also assess that students understand the connections by
collecting and reading their written reflections. 5 completion points.
A formal assessment will take place through an extended assignment. Students will have
one week to create a soundtrack for The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the
Rain. Students will choose five songs that represent the theme the unfairness of life or a
character and burn them onto a CD. Students should choose songs that have lyrics that
convey the same theme as the one the students are studying or the students should choose
songs that convey characteristics that are similar to a character from their choice novel.
The students must have a written explanation as to why they chose each song and how it
connects to the novel. Written explanations should be one paragraph for each song.
Students should also create a hand-drawn or digital CD cover that includes the name of
their choice novel, author, theme/character chosen, song titles, and artists. Students will
then present one of their songs and written explanations to the class. See all of the
guidelines and instructions in the Novel Soundtrack packet (attached to following
lesson). 130 points.
6. Blooms Taxonomy:
Knowledge: Students will identify theme and characterization in songs.
Analyze: Students will examine how songs connect to a text through theme and
characterization.
Synthesize: Students will compile a collection of five songs that convey a specific theme
or characterization.
7. Language Requirements:
There are no new language requirements for this lesson.
8. Materials: The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain, Novel Soundtrack
packet (included with Part 2), two example songs (YouTube video with lyrics), pencil/pen,
notebook paper.
Model songs used in the lesson and assignment packet are based on a novel read earlier
in the year in order to avoid cheating.
9. Methods:
Beginning of Class:
The teacher will welcome the students to class.
Teacher will take attendance.
Students should work on their vocabulary page and Daily Language Work (DLW).

The teacher will go over the vocabulary page and DLW with the students. This
will be done by asking for volunteers to explain their answers or corrections
made, and the teacher will elaborate on the explanations.
(15 minutes)
Anticipation:
The teacher will have a journal prompt on the board before the students arrive to
class. Have you ever heard a song that you feel connects to you or an event in
your life? What was the song, and how did it connect?
Once the students have finished their vocabulary and DLW practice, the teacher
will instruct the students to respond to the prompts on the board on a piece of
notebook paper.
Students will begin responding to the prompt.
The teacher will monitor the classroom to make sure that the students are staying
on task.
(5 minutes)
Overview:
The teacher will explain that today they will be continuing their study of theme
and characterization for their choice novels by connecting them to songs. They
teacher will mention that the students will be creating their own soundtracks for
the novels.
(1 minute)
Modeling:
The teacher will play the song that connects by characterization.
o Im Lost Without You by Blink 182.
o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkrtiuqn6NA
The teacher will explain how the details in the song also portray a character in the
novel.
o Though this song was created as a love song, the point of the song still
rings in correlation to Piggys death. I say this because this song is saying
Are you afraid of being alone? Cause I am, Im lost without you. This
relates to Ralphs thoughts when Piggy dies. Chapter 5 reveals that
Ralphs thoughts of how Piggy is really good at thinking. He can think
clearly, logically, and efficiently, and Ralph had always relied on that.
When Piggy dies, Ralph has lost this component to his group, and its a
blow.
Students will be taking notes about what the teacher is saying.
(5 minutes)
Guided Practice:
The teacher will play the song that connects by theme.
o Children of the Revolution by Mark Bolan.
o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNzCFcayT2M

Students will discuss with a partner how the song portrays the theme of the novel.
o Example: Though the meaning of this particular song doesnt really have a
known meaning, it can still be linked to the theme of civilization vs.
savagery in The Lord of the Flies. The boys on the island can be related to
being the children of the revolution. The boys who had become savage are
prideful in themselves, and see themselves as a higher figure than the boys
who didnt become savage. Jack and Roger are the worst of these savages,
as they see themselves as leaders over the others, and having a higher
authority. They think that they cannot be fooled, because they take so
much pride in themselves. This song in a way is saying that these children
of the revolution will do what they want regardless of what it does to
them, just as the savages do as they please regardless of the consequences
that follow.
During the partner discussions, the teacher will walk around the room to monitor
the groups and add input to the discussions.
(10 minutes)
Application:
The teacher will explain that students will have one week to create a soundtrack
for The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain.
Students will choose five songs that represent the theme the unfairness of life or
a character from the novel.
The songs should be burned onto a CD.
Students should choose songs that have lyrics that convey the same theme as the
one the students are studying or the students should choose songs that convey
characteristics that are similar to a character from their choice novel.
The students must have a written explanation as to why they chose each song and
how it connects to the novel. Written explanations should be one paragraph for
each song.
Students should also create a hand-drawn or digital CD cover that includes the
name of their choice novel, author, theme/character chosen, song titles, and
artists.
Students will then present one of their songs and written explanations to the class.
Students will have the opportunity to begin thinking about the theme/character
that they will represent in their soundtrack, and they will begin thinking about
songs that could connect to the theme/character.
The teacher will walk around the room to monitor the students and answer
questions.
(About 15 minutes)
Closure:
The teacher will close the lesson by stating that students will encounter central
themes in the world around them as they transition into adulthood and that

characterization helps students to analyze and interpret the personality and


characteristics of the people around them. This lesson will help students to view
the themes and details in music that can connect to literature and society.
The teacher will collect the students reflections for the theme example song.
The teacher will tell students that they are to finalize their five songs for the next
class.
The teacher will ask students if they have any questions concerning the homework
assignment.
The teacher will close with any final class or school announcements.
(3 minutes)

10. Adaptations: By participating in a partner discussion, students have a chance to share and
discuss thoughts with the teacher or peers. For students with ADHD, they will be sat near the
front of the class, and they will be given extra assistance for finding songs that connect to the
theme/character chosen if needed (all aligned with existing IEPs). For students with vision
problems, they can be sat closer to the board, or the teacher should provide them with a
printed version of the notes on the board.
11. Possible Problems & Solutions: A potential problem could be lack of participation or too
much noise during the partner discussion and brainstorming. This problem can be fixed by
having the teacher walk around the room to monitor the discussion and noise. A problem
could occur if the technology is not working. This can be addressed by providing a handout
of the notes to the students and having alternative access to the songs (iPhone or iPod).

Theme and Characterization in Music


Part 2
1. Context: 10th grade honors English; students represent mixed ability levels. Suburban
setting. Mixed male and female students. Mixed socioeconomic status. Students should have
finished reading their choice novels. Students will be a continuation of the previous day
addressing theme and characterization through songs.
2. Broad, Lifelong Goals/Rationale: This lesson is relevant to students throughout high school
and college because students will be referring to and analyzing theme and characterization.
Also, students will encounter central themes in the world around them as they transition into
adulthood. Characterization helps students to analyze and interpret the personality and
characteristics of the people around them. This lesson will also help students to view the
themes and details in music that can connect to literature and society.
3. Daily Objectives:
Students will begin drafting the written explanations for their soundtracks.
Students will have brief conferences with the teacher to talk about their chosen
theme/characterization, songs, and written explanations.
4. Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.3
Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations)
develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or
develop the theme.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the
course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details;
provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including
figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word
choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place;
how it sets a formal or informal tone).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision)
and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes,
and audiences.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive

elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence


and to add interest.
5. Assessment/Outcomes:
An informal assessment will take place during the brief conferences. The teacher will
check that students have chosen five songs that represent the theme or a character from
their choice novel. The teacher will also ask them how these songs connect to the
theme/character.
A formal assessment will take place through an extended assignment. Students will have
one week to create a soundtrack for The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the
Rain. Students will choose five songs that represent the theme the unfairness of life or a
character and burn them onto a CD. Students should choose songs that have lyrics that
convey the same theme as the one the students are studying or the students should choose
songs that convey characteristics that are similar to a character from their choice novel.
The students must have a written explanation as to why they chose each song and how it
connects to the novel. Written explanations should be one paragraph for each song.
Students should also create a hand-drawn or digital CD cover that includes the name of
their choice novel, author, theme/character chosen, song titles, and artists. Students will
then present one of their songs and written explanations to the class. See all of the
guidelines and instructions in the Novel Soundtrack packet. 130 points.
6. Blooms Taxonomy:
Knowledge: Students will identify theme and characterization in songs.
Analyze: Students will examine how songs connect to a text through theme and
characterization.
Synthesize: Students will compose a paragraph for each song that explains how the song
connects to the theme/character.
Evaluate: Student will justify their song choices by relating the lyrics to specific portions
of the novel.
7. Language Requirements:
There are no new language requirements for this lesson.
8. Materials: The Fault in Our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain, Novel Soundtrack
packet, two examples of the written explanation (1=theme, 1=characterization) (examples
found in the assignment packet), pencil/pen, notebook paper.
Model explanations in the assignment packet are based on a novel read earlier in the year
in order to avoid cheating.
9. Methods:
Beginning of Class:

The teacher will welcome the students to class.


Teacher will take attendance.
Students should work on their vocabulary page and Daily Language Work (DLW).
The teacher will go over the vocabulary page and DLW with the students. This
will be done by asking for volunteers to explain their answers or corrections
made, and the teacher will elaborate on the explanations.
(15 minutes)
Anticipation:
o The teacher will connect to prior knowledge of the lesson from the day before by
asking students to name a few of the songs that they have chosen to include on
their soundtrack.
o Students will volunteer answers.
Overview:
o The teacher will explain that, now that they have decided on the songs, students
will be working on their written explanations today.
o The teacher will explain that students will begin drafting their explanations and
conferencing with the teacher.
Modeling:
The teacher will project the example of the explanation for a theme connection on
the screen.
o Children of the Revolution- Marc Bolan
o Though the meaning of this particular song doesnt really have a known
meaning, it can still be linked to the theme of civilization vs. savagery in
The Lord of the Flies. The boys on the island can be related to being the
children of the revolution. The boys who had become savage are prideful
in themselves, and see themselves as a higher figure than the boys who
didnt become savage. Jack and Roger are the worst of these savages, as
they see themselves as leaders over the others, and having a higher
authority. They think that they cannot be fooled, because they take so
much pride in themselves. This song in a way is saying that these children
of the revolution will do what they want regardless of what it does to
them, just as the savages do as they please regardless of the consequences
that follow.
The teacher will explain how this explanation follows the requirements for the
assignment.
Students will take notes while the teacher discusses her thoughts.
(3 minutes)
Guided Practice:
The teacher will project the example of the explanation for a character connection
on the screen.
o Im Lost Without You- Blink 182

o Though this song was created as a love song, the point of the song still
rings in correlation to Piggys death. I say this because this song is saying
Are you afraid of being alone? Cause I am, Im lost without you. This
relates to Ralphs thoughts when Piggy dies. Chapter 5 reveals that
Ralphs thoughts of how Piggy is really good at thinking. He can think
clearly, logically, and efficiently, and Ralph had always relied on that.
When Piggy dies, Ralph has lost this component to his group, and its a
blow.
Students will discuss how the explanation follows the requirements for the
assignment.
Students will be take notes during the discussion.
Examples provided are based on a novel read earlier in the year in order to
prevent students from cheating.
Examples can be found in the Novel Soundtrack packet.
(4 minutes)
Application:
The teacher will explain that students will have a chance to begin writing the
rough draft of their explanations.
The teacher will also explain that, while students are writing, she will call
students up to her desk to briefly conference about their chosen theme/character,
songs, and explanations.
Students will begin writing their rough drafts.
During the conference, the teacher will ask students to identify the
theme/character chosen and the songs that they have picked. The teacher will also
ask students to explain the reason for choosing their songs.
o Each conference should only last 2-3 minutes.
The teacher will also use this time to answer any questions that the students have
over the soundtrack assessment.
o If the teacher feels that the question is relevant to other students, the
teacher will stop the class and share the question/answer with the whole
class.
(30 minutes)
Closure:
The teacher will explain that students should complete their rough drafts for
homework.
The teacher will ask students if they have any questions concerning the homework
assignment.
The teacher will close with any final class or school announcements.
(3 minutes)

10. Adaptations: By participating in a conference with the teacher, students have a chance to
share and discuss thoughts. For students with ADHD, they will be sat near the front of the
class, and they will be given extra assistance for connecting songs to the theme/character if
needed (all aligned with existing IEPs). For students with vision problems, they can be sat
closer to the board, or the teacher should provide them with a printed version of the notes on
the board.
11. Possible Problems & Solutions: A potential problem could be students getting off task
while the teacher is conferencing with other students. This problem can be fixed by having
the teacher monitor the room, giving reminders to stay on task, and separating students who
are causing distractions. A problem could occur if the technology is not working. This can be
addressed by having students look at the examples in the assignment packet rather than on
the board.

Novel Soundtrack
Now that you have finished reading The Fault in our Stars or The Art of Racing in the Rain, you
will create a soundtrack for the novel. This project will help you to analyze the theme of or
characterization in the novel by finding songs that have a similar theme or portray similar
characterization, which will help you see that these elements surround us in our everyday lives. You
will have one week to complete this project. For the soundtrack, you will:
Choose your songsDecide on five songs that represent the theme or one character from
the novel. You should focus on the lyrics of the song and how they connect to the theme or
character. To choose your songs, think about the development of the theme over the text, or
think about the characterization and development of the character. Be sure to choose music
that is appropriate for the class.
Design a CD cover. Design an original CD cover for your soundtrack. The cover should also
represent the theme/character that you have chosen. On the front of the cover, include the title
of the book, the authors name, and the theme/character that you are representing. On the
back of cover, list the name and artist of each song. The cover should be in color, and the
images should take up the entire front side of the cover. You can create images by hand or
you can use a computer. Place the cover inside of the CD case.
Written Explanation At the top of your paper, include the title of your book, the authors
name, and the theme/character chosen. Explain your reasoning for choosing each song that
you have included in your soundtrack. The explanation should be one paragraph for each
song. For each song you should include the song title, the artist, and an explanation of why
you chose the song and how it connects to the theme/character. Make sure to refer to specific
parts of the text. You do not need to have direct quotes, but you should be as specific as
possible. The explanation should have few to no spelling and grammatical errors. Your paper
should include the MLA heading, be double spaced, and be typed in size 12 Times New
Roman font.
Burn an actual CD of your soundtrackCompile your song choices
onto a CD to turn in along with your CD cover. *If you are unable to
get access to a blank CD or are unable to put the songs onto the CD, see
the teacher for help.
Present your CD to the classPresent one
song to the class. Read your written explanation
for choosing the song.

Rubric
Use the checklist to make sure that you have included all the pieces of your soundtrack.
_____ Choose a theme or character from your novel to represent in your soundtrack.
_____ Choose five songs that represent the theme/character through the lyrics. Focus of development
of the theme/characterization throughout the story. (5 points each = 25 points)
_____ Burn the songs onto a CD to turn into the teacher.
_____ Create an original CD cover. (30 points total)
____ The cover should represent the theme/character that you have chosen. (10 points)
____ On the front of the cover, include the title of the book, the authors name, and the
theme/character that you are representing. (5 points)
____ On the back of cover, list the name and artist of each song. (5 points)
____ The cover should be in color, and the images should take up the entire front side of the
cover. (5 points)
____ Wrap the cover around the CD case. (5 points)
_____ Written Explanation (80 points total)
____ At the top of your paper, include the title of your book, the authors name, and the
theme/character chosen. (5 points)
____ For each song you should include the song title, the artist, and an explanation of why
you chose the song and how it connects to the theme/character. (15 points each = 75
points)
The elements below will contribute to the 15 points for each written explanation.
____ Refer to specific parts of the text. You do not need to have direct quotes, but
you should be as specific as possible. (5 points each = 25 points)
____ The written explanation is free of errors and shows an excellent
understanding of the mechanics of writing. (5 points each = 25 points)
____ The explanation is one paragraph for each song. (5 points each = 25 points)
_____ Present one song to the class, and read your explanation for choosing the song. (5 points)
TOTAL POINTS: _______/130

Comments:

Cover Examples

Explanation Examples
Example of a theme explanation:
Children of the Revolution- Marc Bolan
Though the meaning of this particular song doesnt really have a known meaning, it can
still be linked to the theme of civilization vs. savagery in The Lord of the Flies. The boys on the
island can be related to being the children of the revolution. The boys who had become savage
are prideful in themselves, and see themselves as a higher figure than the boys who didnt
become savage. Jack and Roger are the worst of these savages, as they see themselves as leaders
over the others, and having a higher authority. They think that they cannot be fooled, because
they take so much pride in themselves. This song in a way is saying that these children of the
revolution will do what they want regardless of what it does to them, just as the savages do as
they please regardless of the consequences that follow.

Example for a character explanation:


Im Lost Without You- Blink 182
Though this song was created as a love song, the point of the song still rings in
correlation to Piggys death. I say this because this song is saying Are you afraid of being
alone? Cause I am, Im lost without you. This relates to Ralphs thoughts when Piggy dies.
Chapter 5 reveals that Ralphs thoughts of how Piggy is really good at thinking. He can think
clearly, logically, and efficiently, and Ralph had always relied on that. When Piggy dies, Ralph
has lost this component to his group, and its a blow.