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Preparing a Character for a New Job: Character Analysis through Job Placement
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Four 50-minute sessions|
In this lesson, students find a job for a character in a text they have read, prepare a resume for their character, and help them prepare for a job interview. Students first identify characteristics of effective resumes. After exploring an online introduction to writing a resume for a character, students search job ads for jobs that would be appropriate for a specific character from a text they have read. They then analyze that character, looking for direct and implied information about the character and textual evidence of the character’s strengths and weaknesses. They work in small groups to write a resume for their character, based on their analysis. Finally, they explore interviewing tips and techniques and write ten job interview questions and accompanying answers designed to highlight the character’s strengths.
Though the examples in this lesson focus on The Glass Menagerie, many other pieces of literature can be used.
Drama Map: With this online tool, students analyzing a play can map out the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution for a variety purposes.
Writing Resumes for Fictional Characters: This online tool offers tips for writing resumes for fictional characters that could also be applied to resumes for students themselves.
Resume Workshop: Purdue's OWL offers this comprehensive guide to creating an effective resume.
In her English Journal article, "‘Walk with Light': Guiding Students through the Conventions of Literary Analysis," Judith Burdan explains that "For many students, literary analysis is primarily a means by which their teachers demarcate the gap between the students' naïve or inept readings of literature and their own, more sophisticated ones, and students are not reluctant to point out their sense of vulnerability" (23). This lesson plan challenges students to move beyond this understanding of literary analysis to engage in a sophisticated transaction with the texts they read. As students search for details in the text and match the character's personality to potential jobs, they engage in deep textual readings. 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.
Burdan, Judith. "‘Walk with Light': Guiding Students through the Conventions of Literary Analysis." English Journal 93.4 (March 2004): 23-28.