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Lesson Plan

Charting Characters for a More Complete Understanding of the Story

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time 60 minutes
Lesson Author

Cammie Singleton

Mobile, Alabama


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Instruction & Activities


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Use Character Perspective Charting to more fully comprehend a story

  • Identify various story elements by completing a Character Perspective Chart

  • Differentiate between and comprehend multiple character perspectives, goals, and intentions

  • Use cognitive tools for critical reading and interpretation

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Instruction & Activities

1. Read the story of your choice aloud to the class. If available, have students partner read or follow along using a class set.

2. Hold a class discussion about the story. Encourage debate among the students as they discuss the main theme of the story and the different points of view between the characters.

3. Tell students that there is not always just one correct interpretation of a story. Depending on each character's point of view and individual goals, different ideas about the story may emerge.

4. Distribute a copy of the Character Perspective Chart to each student and introduce the strategy. Tell students that they are going to look at the story from multiple perspectives in order to gain a full understanding of the story. In detail, go over each question on the chart and the definitions of the story elements (e.g., setting, theme, problem).

5. As a class, decide on the two main characters from the story that are in conflict, and write their names on the overhead Character Perspective Chart. Discuss each story element as you come to it and solicit students' suggestions for each part of the chart. Have students fill in their charts as you record the class responses on the overhead.

6. Explain how different goals and intentions lead to different actions. Discuss whether the characters accomplished their respective goals.

7. Discuss the theme. Did a different theme emerge from each character's perspective?

8. Engage in a class discussion of the Character Perspective Charting strategy. What do students think of the story now that they have looked at it from multiple angles? Do they prefer one perspective over another? Do they feel that they have a more thorough understanding of the story?

9. Reflect upon strategies used while charting character perspectives, such as remembering details, developing vocabulary, drawing inferences and conclusions, and comparing the goals and actions of characters.

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  • Introduce a new story to the class, and divide students into two groups. Have each group complete the chart for only one character, then have the class come together to compare the two characters.

  • Have students draw pictures illustrating two characters in conflict and the eventual solution.

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  • Student participation in class discussions and group activities

  • Completed Character Perspective Chart showing the student's understanding of the various story elements and ability to differentiate multiple character perspectives, goals, and intentions

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