Teaching students to analyze anything can be a daunting task. So when students have to make sense of all of the characters in a short story or novel, and THEN analyze them, the frustration can reach a boiling point for both the teacher and the student. To mitigate these frustrations, graphic organizers can be a tremendous help.
In the classroom, I remember all of the organizers my students had to create by hand as I drew them on the board. Then, using the Gradual Release Model of Responsibility, we would walk through them so that students could really flesh out their characters and ideas, and support that with evidence from the text. Once we were able to do all of that, we were ready for the hard part – writing the analysis.
Today, I have eliminated much of the frustration by creating an Analyzing Characters Organizer Pack.
Included, are 6 graphic organizers, a table of contents with instructions on how to use each, directions on using the Gradual Release Model of Responsibility, the Common Core Standards the activities are aligned with, AND learning targets.
The activities can be used for any secondary ELA classroom. There are a variety of ways to use the organizers including whole-class, independent practice, small groups, or stations.
If you are looking for an engaging way to teach students how to analyze characters, check it out. I found that once students were given opportunities to practice the skill in different ways, the outcome was increased engagement and greater achievement.
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