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Amelie Sherry

Academic Literacy
Professor Herrmann
01 October 2016

Juicy Characters

Lesson Plan
1. Author/Date: Amelie Sherry (modified and adapted lesson plan originally created by
Laura Bradley)
2. Subject: English
3. Teaching Strategies:
a. Story-writing exercises and literacy
b. Brainstorm techniques
4. Grade/Level: 8th Grade
5. Topic or Unit of Study: Story Elements (Character) for Novel Writing
6. Objective:
a. Students will be able to identify features of characters within narratives and create
characters based on their understanding.
b. According to the CA State Content Standard 2.1 and 2.1c, Write biographies,
autobiographies, short stories, or narratives: employ narrative and descriptive
strategies (e.g., relevant dialogue, specific action, physical description,
background description, comparison or contrast of characters.
7. Learning Context:
a. Students are writing a novel by the end of the school year. Each week, students
learn a new aspect of a story (, characters, .
b. They have just learned about the different elements of what makes a story a story
(introduction, inciting event, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement).
c. The following week, students will learn about different types of figurative
language and how that can be used in their writings.
d. They keep an in-class notebook to house their quick writes, notes, and other
pertinent information related to English class.
8. Summary
a. Todays lesson is focused on juicy characters - characters we like, we root for,
we can relate to, but who are flawed. Students are to think about how their
favorite book/movie characters are not perfect people. Effective stories have
flawed main characters.

b. They will begin the process of developing juicy characters for their own novels.
9. Time Allotment: 95 minute class
10. Sample Student Products:
a. Juicy Character worksheet.
b. Semantic Maps used for debate preparation and gathering of evidence.
11. Author's Comments & Reflections: N/A
12. Resources
a. Laura Bradleys Juicy Character worksheet
b. Ideas from USF Academic Literacy course and cohort
13. Anticipatory Set:
a. Silent reading for 10-15 minutes
b. Students make a list of characters they are reading about in their book of choice.
c. Students given a sticky note to write the name of one of the characters and
something they like about the character.
d. They go up to the front of the classroom and post it on the board.
14. Modeling:

a. Storytime: teacher reads the novel, The Future of Us, to the students.
b. Students open their notebooks to the next clean page, and write Juicy Characters
at the top.
c. Then they make a 3-column table all the way down the page:
Character name

d.

Strengths

Weaknesses (flaws)

Teacher asks students about some of their favorite MAIN characters from
familiar books/TV/movies, such as Harry Potter, The Outsiders, Maze
Runner, Hunger Games, etc.
e. As students brainstorm and call out examples, teacher writes their ideas
on the board, using the 3 columns to model how it is to be done.

15. Guided Practice:

a. In a group of their choice (or individually for students who prefer to work alone),
students fill the entire 3-column page with more examples, focusing on what
makes each a juicy character.
b. Teachers circulates room, ensuring all are on task, answering questions, and
giving guidance when needed.
16. Independent Practice:
a. Students are given a worksheet to brainstorm ideas for their own novel characters.
They can ask themselves questions such as, What will make the reader like
them? What flaws will they have that makes them more human? What are their
strengths? etc.
b. Suggest to them that they will probably enjoy writing about the kinds of
characters they enjoy reading about -- if they loved Maze Runner, they might
want to create a character similar to Thomas; if they loved Hunger Games, they
might want to create a character like Katniss, etc.
17. Closure:
a. Exit Ticket: Write on a sticky note one juicy characteristic the student discovered
then place it in their notebook on the following page.
b. If the worksheet is not completed in class, students take home to complete.
18. Follow-Up:
a. The next class, each student takes their sticky note they wrote the day before of
the juicy characteristic and finds other students with the same or similar one.
b. Together the class generates a list of favorite qualities and tallies next to repetitive
one. The purpose of this is to see what qualities are most popular among the class,
and to arm students with more ideas for their novels character development.
c. Students turn in their worksheet from class work/homework.
19. Instructional Materials:
a. Novel for storytime
b. Each student needs their SSR book
c. White board and pen
d. Juicy Characters worksheet
20. Assessment Plan/Rubrics:
a. Formative:
i.
Listening to conversations when circulating the room.
ii.
Completion of the Juicy Character in-class list.

b. Summative:
i.
Effective employment of developing characters based on story-writing
elements in the students novel.
ii.
Completion of Juicy Character worksheet. Full credit if completely filled
by the due date.
iii.
Comprehensive rubric for novel.