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Students Use Critical Thinking to Analyze Character Goals

written by: Trent Lorcher • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 1/20/2012

In this simple yet effective lesson plan, students analyze the goals of a character from a novel or historical reference. In addition to helping you assess students' understanding of the assigned reading, this assignment reinforces critical thinking.

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    Creative lesson plans on literary terms achieve the ultimate goal of any history or literature teacher: get students to think critically.

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    Description

    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).
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    Quality Checklist

    • 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?

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    Rubric

    '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.