Lesson Plan

Indirect Characterization

Students will apply their knowledge of characterization to a short story in order to infer character traits, provide evidence, and provide rationale.

Students will be able to...

RL.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of whta they text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RL.7.3 Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g. how setting shapes the characters or plot).

W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

English Language Arts
Grades 6 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

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The purpose of the hook is for the students to understand they already use the characterization skills in real life that they will be using with literature. 

  • I write my name on the white board, and ask the students to list on Padlet personality/character traits they feel I have.
  • I ask for volunteers to share what they have written, and I list them on the board without discussion.
  • After the traits have been written on the board, I ask the students how they know I have each particular character trait.
  • The student explanations always include the SEAL part of STEAL. (We infer character traits based on what scharacter Say, their Effect on others, through their Actions, and how they Look.)
  • I explain that these are the exac same ways we infer character traits in literature, except that literature has one advantage we do not; In literature we can also infer traits based on characters' Thoughts. (The T in STEAL.)
Student Instructions
  •  Students list on Padlet my perceived personality/character traits. (e.g. intelligent, mean, thoughtful, professional)
  • Students verbally share trait responses with me.
  • Students verbally explain how they know I have the traits they generated (e.g. "You said....."; I saw you....."; "You wear....") 

2 Direct Instruction

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Student Instructions
  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of the acronmym STEAL by writing an explanation which includes examples.

3 Guided Practice

Student Instructions
  • Students will watch the video with the understanding they will follow the same process for a different part of STEAL, other than the A (action) demonstrated in the video.

4 Independent Practice

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  • I will write the following guidelines from the previous video on the board:
  1. List the main character's (Speech, Thoughts, Effects on others, OR Looks) across the text. Evidence
  2. Analyze the (Speech, Thoughts, Effects on others, OR Looks) and ask, "What do these say about the character?" Rationale
  3. Use this analysis to determine the character's traits.Trait
  • I will instruct the students to use their computers to create a three column chart: one column titled Trait, another column titled Evidence, and a third column titled Rationale.
  • While re-reading Rikki-tikki-tavi, the students will complete the chart for the STEorpart of STEAL.
Student Instructions
  • Using their computers and Google Drive, the students will create and complete the three-column chart as instructed.
  • They can use a split-screen and refer back to the video if need be.

5 Wrap-up

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  • I will instruct students to use their chart notes to compose a character analysis similar to the one from the end of the video they viewed.
Student Instructions
  • On their computers, students will use a split screen so they can view their chart notes while they compose their analyses on Google Docs. Once again, they have the option of referring back to the video.