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Book Report Alternative: Characters for Hire! Studying Character in Drama
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Four 50-minute sessions|
After reading a play, students create a resume for one of the characters. Students first discuss what they know about resumes, then select a character from the play to focus on and jot down notes about that character. Next, they search the internet for historical background information. Students then explore the play again, looking for both direct and implied information about their characters and noting the location of supporting details. Finally, students draft resumes for their characters and search a job listing site for a job for which their character is qualified.
- The OWL at Purdue Resume Workshop: This resource from Purdue OWL provides detailed explanations for writing a resume.
- Writing Resumes for Fictional Characters: Students can use this online tool offers to guide them through the process of writing a resume for a fictional character.
In her article "Teaching Ideas: Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report," Diana Mitchell explains "Students tire of responding to novels in the same ways. They want new ways to think about a piece of literature and new ways to dig into it" (92).
Mitchell's observation is supported by Jim Cope's survey of 272 high school seniors in five Georgia high schools. In the article reporting his findings, Cope states, "Book reports were listed as the third most negative school reading experience, and can be considered a subset of students' general disdain for assigned reading" (21). Like Mitchell, Cope suggests that teachers "move away from the traditional book report and consider more exciting activities" in order to raise students' interest and engagement in reading. The end result of book report alternatives, such as the one explored in this lesson plan, is that the activities "whet the interest of students in exploring new directions and in responding with greater depth to the books they read" (Mitchell 92).
Mitchell, Diana. "Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report." English Journal 87.1 (January 1998): 92-95.
Cope, Jim. "Beyond Voices of Readers: Students on School's Effects on Reading." English Journal 86.3 (March 1997): 18-23