Lesson Plan

What a Character!

A Compare & Contrast Character Lesson using R.J. Palacio's Wonderful book entitled Wonder
Crissy W.
Classroom teacher
Village of Barboursville Elementary School
Barboursville, United States
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My Grades 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Using the book "Wonder", students will compare and contrast various characters in the book for our character analysis unit.  Then, they will create a compare &  contrast essay and digital poster utilizing characters from the book. 

Students will be able to...

  • read grade level appropriate literary texts
  • compare and contrast literary characters
  • write a compare & contrast essay about the literary characters
  • create a unique digital poster utilizing characters from the book
  • present their information to the class


English Language Arts
Grades 5 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook


After reading the first few chapters of the book, students will watch a video with characteristics resembling the book's main character. The video is "Wonder" by Natalie Merchant. Students will then receive a print out of the lyrics to analyze in groups. After students have analyzed the lyrics, we will have a class discussion about the similarities and differences between the person spoken of in the video and our main character in the book (Auggie). This will be recorded on the virtual corkboard for visual reference. We will continue to fill in more similarities and differences as we continue reading the book.

2 Direct Instruction

We will brainstorm the properties of a high-quality compare/contrast essay. After this discussion, we will create one, whole group writing together on the Smart Board using the information from our graphic organizer. We will use our writing process skills to revise, enhance, and edit our class draft together.

3 Guided Practice

In small groups, students will analyze each main character from the book. They will use One Note (desktop version) to list characteristics, important events, and details about each character. Each character will be listed in a separate section. After syncing, a compiled, cohesive list from all groups will be available. Each group will be assigned 1-2 characters. They will take the information from the compiled lists and create a word cloud representative of their character. This information will be printed and then shared with the class.

4 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

Students will create a compare/contrast graphic organizer on 2 characters in the book using Microsoft Word. They will use their background knowledge from the previous whole group lessons to complete this assignment. Then, students will write an independent 5 paragraph essay on the selected characters using the writing process to enhance, edit, and revise.

5 Wrap-Up

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Free to Try, Paid

Students will select their most or least favorite character and create a digital poster incorporating as many important characteristics, events, and details about that character as possible. Students should include text, video clips, and clip art/pictures representative of that character. Students will share and present their poster to the class.