Title of Activity
Character comparison

Description of educational activity
Duration: 45 minutes
Pupils’ age: 15-19
Organization of the class of pupils: group work

The aim of the lesson: The aim of this activity is to develop reading literacy of students, encourage their reading skills, use of their competences at the analysis and interpretation of the initial texts, to strengthen their language skills at verbalisation of their finding and to expand the vocabulary of students. It is important to be able to present the findings, express student´s opinion and to be able to accept the opinions of other members of a group or class.

The aim of the activity is to create student´s own text – comparative characteristic of the main characters of the selected stories, based on the analysis and his reading experience. The next aim is to develop analytical mind of the students.

 

 

Support materials:

Teacher – a coordinator of the activity, chooses some short excerpts from two books (equal number of the excerpts from each book), which somehow characterize the main character of a story. Each excerpt is printed on a separate piece of paper without indicating the author and the title of a book. The examples of suitable excerpts are shown in this activity and we chose them from the books. The shock of the fall (N. Filer) and The perks of being a wallflower (S. Chbosky), because the heroes of both of the stories are similar in their age, attitudes and their life situation.

 

Activities:

  1. Divide students into groups as follows: Put numbered pieces of papers into a hat and each student chooses one of them. There are more pieces of paper with the same number so we can make groups of student randomly. Students with number 1 will form a group, with number 2 another one etc.
  2. Each group is given excerpts from both of the books. Their first task is to read them and divide them into two groups/ two stories. The students can choose the form of reading so they can read individually or reading our loud with listening actively.
  3. Based on the excerpts, the students fill in the worksheet (appendix 2), so they match the main characters with the adjectives and phraseological expressions which characterize them. They choose their own form of work within a group. A thorough analysis of the excerpts is important, so the students do not only analyse the content but have to focus on intertextual links and author´s stylistics.
  4. After the adequate analysis of the characters, the groups work out a comparative characteristic of the main characters. They try to find the differences and similarities of the main characters.
  5. Subsequently the groups present their characteristics and discuss obtained information, compare their findings. Within the discussion they might change their opinion on a character.
  6. A teacher should now introduce the authors of the books to the students e.g. using a PowerPoint presentation. If there is no time to carry out this part of the activity, it can be left out as it is not the focus of the activity. The teacher is, in all the phases of the activity, a coordinator and facilitator of the activity.
  7. In the end the students watch a short part of the film versions of the books and discuss the differences. 

 

Connection to curriculum

Grade: 2nd and 3rd grade of bilingual studies

Bilingual curriculum: The study of literature is focused during the second and third year on reading comprehension of literary texts which are based on the interests of the students which involves books with teenage protagonists, too. The aim of the curriculum is to teach students to w0ork with the text, to analyse the texts. Comparing different characters and being able to talk about their features and analysing their qualities and vices. Understanding texts, weighing their merits, and utilizing the information they offer are skills that teenagers draw on throughout the curriculum.

 

Knowledge:

  • Students understand a text being read.
  • Students find the main character in a text.
  • They differentiate supporting characters from the main character.
  • After reading the excerpts they can identify the main characteristics of the characters.
  • They identify the topic of the excerpts
  • They select information.

 

Skills:

  • Students analyse texts.
  • They work with dictionaries.
  • They search for and classify information.
  • They can identify and interpret correctly the feelings of the characters in the books
  • They can put the particular excerpts in the correct order according to some links.
  • They are able to work in groups.
  • They can create a characteristic of a character based on the excerpts.

 

Competences:

  • Students are able to work individually or in a team
  • They accept others in the group
  • They can express their opinion

 

Bibliographic reference to be used during the activity

Chbosky Stephen: The perks of being a wallflower

Publisher: Pocket Books

ISBN: 9781847394071

Page count: 224

Year of issue: 2012

 

Digital sources

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 American coming-of-age, drama film.  An adaptation of the 1999 epistolary novel of the same name, it was written and directed by the novel's author, Stephen Chbosky. Filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the film was released on September 21, 2012. The film stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller.

 

Results

The expected outcomes of the lesson are:

  • The students will be able to understand through character comparison, develop demonstrations.
  • To connect ideas and themes across texts.
  • To find hints to help to find the qualities of characters
  • To offer observations, make connections, speculate, interpret, and raise questions in response to the excerpts.

 

Recommendations

Both the teaching method and the text can help in increasing students’ interest in reading. These excerpts promote male characters with whom boys can identify. But the text is about teenage characters so girls can be interested in the reading as well as they are sentimental or even a little bit romantic. But on the other hand these books have deeper messages.

The teacher monitors the students so as to make sure they cooperate effectively.

The volume of given fragments of books can be adapted to the potential of a group - fragments can be shorter - by cutting less important paragraphs, or be expanded to additional fragments of the same novel.

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