Students Use Critical Thinking to Analyze Character Goals
Creative lesson plans on literary terms achieve the ultimate goal of any history or literature teacher: get students to think critically.
Alone or in a group, students develop a chart to track the goals and whether or not those goals are achieved for a major character in a novel, play, short story, or history lesson. The chart should include the following:
- Five to ten goals of the character
- Classification of goals: short-term or long-term, meaningful or not, how attained or why failed, impact on self and others.
- Page where the goal is found and page where goal is attained or denied.
- Page where the goal is explained.
- Organization and readibility; clear labels and headings
Difficulty level can be adjusted depending on the students. Additional strategies for differentiation include:
- Requiring more or fewer character goals.
- Requiring more or fewer details.
- Supplying a pre-printed chart with headings.
- Completing one example in class (strongly recommended for all levels).
- Have I classified the goals as short-term or long-term, meaningfulness, attained or not, and impact on self and others?
- Did I identify the page numbers where the goal is found?
- Have I explained the attainment or failure of the goal?
- Have I made my chart easy to read with clear labels and headings? Is it organized?
- Have I used correct mechanics?
- Do I have complete sentences with appropriate word choice?
- Is my final product neat, orderly, complete, and accurate?
'A' chart: Goals are classified according to chart headings; the analysis shows an understanding of the character and the assigned reading; the chart is organized and easy to read; the format is neat, orderly, accurate, and complete; spelling, punctuation, capitalization are correct.
'B' chart: Goals are mostly classified according to chart headings; the analysis mostly shows understanding of the character; the chart is mostly organized and easy to read with clear labels and heading; the format is mostly neat and orderly, complete, and accurate; mechanics are mostly correct.
'C' chart: The chart classification clearly indicates character goals; the analysis only somewhat shows an understanding of the character; the chart is somewhat organized with difficult to read labels and headings; the format is somewhat neat, orderly, complete, and accurate; mechanics are somewhat correct.
'D' chart: Goals are not classified; the analysis demonstrates no understanding of the character; the chart is not organized; the format is not neat, orderly, accurate, or complete; mechanics stink.