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Lesson Plan

Book Report Alternative: Creating Careers for Characters

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Book Report Alternative: Creating Careers for Characters

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Students first explore resumes using the internet. They then work as a class to construct a sample resume for a character in a book they have all read. Next, they explore want ads and online job sites for possible jobs for a character from a book they have read on their own. They write a letter of application and create a resume for their character for the selected job.

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Writing Resumes for Fictional Characters: This online resource highlights the requirements of a character resumes assignment.

Careers for Characters Rubric: Use this rubric to assess students' characters resumes.

Purdue OWL's Resume Workshop: This site offers step-by-step instructions for creating an effective resume.

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In this lesson, students read fictional works, use Internet resources, read and interpret classified ads, and write original resumes for a character they are exploring. Students rely on analytical skills to find material in their books that will support the job choice for their character. Teachers not only test student knowledge of plot and character descriptions but also have students learn the important skill of resume preparation and polishing, which will benefit them in their job or college application process.

Further Reading

This lesson was adapted from Shelley Mattson Gahn's teaching idea "Careers for Characters" (pp. 20-22) in the Standards Consensus Series book: Hutchinson, Jamie, Ed. 1996. Teaching Literature in Middle School: Fiction. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

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