Here at Novel Novice we’re big supporters of using popular and enriching YA literature in the classroom. Under our classroom tab, you can find many unit plans designed by staff members and lessons design by teachers who frequent the site.
In this tradition, we will be hosting two new weekly columns here at Novel Novice. I am currently teaching two novels in my 8th grade English classes: The Outsiders by S.E Hinton and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Mondays for the next several weeks will be known as Outsiders Mondays. Fridays will be known as Hunger Games Fridays. During these days, I will post lesson ideas I have implemented in my classroom.
This week’s idea? Character Sketches. One of the many things students in the 8th grade need to understand is the concept of characterization. Characters can be analyzed by the following: their actions, their words, appearance, and what others say and think about them.
Keeping these characteristics in mind, students will work in groups to create life-size portraits of a character from The Outsiders. Their portrait must reflect the physical description given in the book. Once the drawing is complete, students will answer the following questions using specific examples from the novel:
2) However I am….
3) One day I will….
4) I really dislike….
5) I like people who are….
6) I consider myself….
Example: I consider myself part of family despite having a drunk for a mother and a father who beats me. My friends are my family, and I can trust them to be there for me no matter what. (Johnny)
The students put these examples directly on their portraits and we hang them around the room.