Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Preparing a Character for a New Job: Character Analysis through Job Placement

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


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
Lesson Author

Nancy Barile

Nancy Barile

Revere, Massachusetts


National Council of Teachers of English


Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • identify basic facts and main ideas in a text and use them as the basis of analysis.

  • apply direct and indirect information about a character, noting the context of the reference and the reliability of the speaker.

  • compile disparate and/or unconnected information about the chosen character into a coherent format (the resume and interview questions).

  • learn appropriate resume techniques.

  • use knowledge of standard English conventions in their writing, revising, and editing.

  • (optional) examine the way that word choice affects meaning by focusing on using strong, active verbs to describe the character's experience.

back to top


Session One

  1. Pass out the Assignment and Rubric, and explain to students that they will be preparing a resume and interview questions for one of the characters in a literary reading. For instance, for the play, the Glass Menagerie, students might create resumes for Laura Wingfield or for Tom Wingfield. If desired, use the customized version of the assignment focusing on Laura Wingfield to talk about how students can think through the activity for the characters that they have chosen.

  2. Discuss resumes, perhaps using some of online templates as guides. Be sure to cover questions such as the following:

    • What is a resume?

    • Why are resumes used?

    • What information does a resume convey?
  3. Use the Writing Resumes for Fictional Characters presentation to introduce the ideas for character resumes.

  4. Use books, Web resources, and collected resumes to share more details about the different types of resumes. If desired, go over the components of a resume in more detail, using the Online Workshop: Resume, from Purdue OWL. Invite students to explore the sites further on their own. The resources include sample resumes. Additional sample resumes are available at the sites listed in the Resources section.

  5. Give students time to look at sample resumes you or your class has collected. Ask them to identify those that have a style or format you might like to imitate or borrow. See how much detail each type of resume includes.

  6. Explore online classified ads to consider job opportunities. Be sure to consider how the jobs would be different in the setting of your novel.

  7. Distribute the Resume Writing Tips handout to review what to include and what not to include.

  8. Arrange students in small groups to complete the activity. Alternatively, students can complete this activity individually.

  9. Have students choose a character to investigate and jot down preliminary notes they can recall about their characters in their groups.

back to top


Session Two

  1. Review the Assignment and Rubric, answering any questions that students have about the project.

  2. Discuss the difference between direct and implied information presented in literature. To provide an example without exploring a character that students are using for their projects, you might talk about what is directly stated about the setting of a play and what is implied by the characters' comments and the stage directions. For Laura Wingfield, discuss the differences among these examples:

    • Amanda, having failed to establish contact with reality, continues to live vitally in her illusions, but Laura's situation is even graver. A childhood illness has left her crippled, one leg slightly shorter than the other, and held in a brace. . . . Stemming from this, Laura's separation increases till she is like a piece of her own glass collection, to exquisitely fragile to move from the shelf. (Character Descriptions, 394)

    • "I wonder," she said,"if you could be talking about that terribly shy little girl who dropped out of school after only a few days' attendance?" (Amanda reporting on a conversation with Laura's typing instructor, 407)

    • And she said, "No-I remember her perfectly now. Her hands shooks so that she couldn't hit the right keys! The first time we gave a speed-teest, she broke down completely-was sick at the stomach and almost had to be carried into the wash-room!" (Amanda reporting on a conversation with Laura's typing instructor, 407)

    • It was the lesser of two evils, Mother. I couldn't go back up. I-threw up-on the floor! (Laura to Amanda, 408)
  3. Have students return to their small groups from the previous session.

  4. Ask students to return to text and search for specific literary evidence from the text on the characters they have chosen. For example, students analyzing Laura Wingfield from The Glass Menagerie would return to the first two scenes of the play and look for specific details and search for details on the character. They would discuss Laura's interests and how they are communicated in the scene.

  5. Next, ask students to search for the strengths and weaknesses of their character and to note how they have identified the qualities. Laura Wingfield, for instance, has no work experience and is painfully shy (weaknesses); but she does have a strong will and can be determined (strengths).

  6. Ask students to use the Drama Map to fully understand the character of Laura Wingfield.

  7. Ask students to identify possible career choices for their characters by consulting such resources as the Purdue OWL Job Skills Checklist, O*Net Online, and USAJobs and other job search Websites listed in the Resources section. You may also use such library resources as the Worker Trait Group Guide, Chronicle Guidance Occupational Library, Career Discovery Encyclopedia, OCCU-FACTS, and so forth. Career exploration can continue as homework if desired. By the beginning of the next session, students should have identified the careers for their characters.

back to top


Session Three

  1. Answer any questions about the character analysis from the previous session or the Assignment and Rubric.

  2. Write an objective for the resume, based on information gathered about the character in previous session. Even if students do not plan to use a Job Objective in their resumes, this step will help them decide what information is needed and what can be safely omitted.

  3. Distribute the Resume Checklist. Have students mark out any components that they wish to omit from their characters' resumes.

  4. Explain that during this session, students will arrange the character's resume information in chronological order, functional format, or another appropriate form.

  5. Have plenty of sample resumes on hand for students to consult as they work (either printed copies or links to the sample Websites listed in the Resources section). Encourage students to try out different formats to fit their texts.

  6. Remind students to be sure that any names, dates, or places connect to the plot and setting of the literary piece.

  7. Type final versions of the two documents using a word processor. Alternately, you have studednts continue work on their drafts for homework, asking them to submit their work at the beginning of the next session.

  8. By the end of the session, groups should have a finished resume for their character. You can collect a copy of the document at this point or ask them to hold the piece until they have the second part of the assignment complete.

  9. As groups work during this session, circulate through the class, providing feedback and support as appropriate.

back to top


Session Four

  1. Review the next part of the Assignment, which requires students to create ten questions that a potential employer might ask someone applying for a job and then formulate appropriate answers for the characters that they have chosen. Their goal is to help the character through the interview.

  2. Share information on job interviews from the following resources. You might lead students through one or more of the sites, or simply make the sites available for the groups to explore independently:

  3. After students have had an opportunity to explore the available resources, ask them to brainstorm sample questions that may take place in an interview session. For example, an interviewer might ask, "What do you think your strengths are? What would you say your weaknesses are?"

  4. Once a list of general questions has been gathered, have students discuss how the character that they have chosen would respond to these questions. If desired, work through an example question and answer for the class as a whole before groups begin their task.

  5. Remind students to choose ten questions and suggest ten related answers that the character might use. The goal is to prepare the character for potential questions in an interview.

  6. Collect questions and answers, and, if applicable, character resumes at the end of the session.

back to top



  • Expand on students' focus on a particular character by having them write a character diary entry from their adopted character's point of view. You might ask students to write the entry for the day before the job interview or the evening after the interview. Alternately, you can use a diary prompt from Traci's Lists of Ten, or let students make up their own topics.

  • Based on student need and experience, you might add a mini-lesson that will help students strengthen their word choice. The Purdue OWL resource Some Action Words to Describe Skills in Resumes provides a great list of strong, action verbs that are appropriate for resumes. Demonstrate the process of revising for stronger word choice, using the list and modeling how to use the dictionary and thesaurus as necessary. Divide students into small groups, and challenge them to add at least three action words to each character resume. Students can revise and submit their documents at the end of class or the beginning of the next session.

back to top



  • Informal feedback can come from students who respond to the character resumes and then search out the related book is excellent feedback for students. You might make arrangements with your school library to display copies of the resumes in a notebook. Students looking for something to read can then browse through the notebook for suggestions.

  • Interview students, asking them to explain why certain choices were made concerning the job objective, format choices, word choice, and voice. Questions such as the following can guide your feedback on the resume and interview questions:

    • Does the student fully understand the character? What evidence in the documents shows the studentís level of understanding?

    • Does the resume highlight the characterís strengths? Would it help the character find an appropriate job?

    • Would the character enjoy and excel in the job that the group chose?

    • Are the interview questions and answers appropriate? Do they reflect the interaction that would take place in a real interview?

    • Do the interview questions help the character prepare for difficult questions?

  • For more formal assessment, use the Resume Checklist or the Client Preparation Rubric.

back to top