Welcome to HIT—How I Teach….In this episode, I share how I teach a character analysis using a simple two-paragraph model for high school students. Character analysis can be difficult to teach—students often do not grasp what they are looking for in a character in order to analyze the character. In the Before and After Character Description project, students learn to analyze a character by comparing characteristics, mannerisms, tone, words, and actions from one period of time in a certain setting to another period of time in that same setting.

Here is why your students can succeed with this week’s free Teacher’s Notebook lesson—and why you can do this same type of project over and over with other characters as well:

  • The project itself is not long—but rather very narrowly focused and tight (which can often be difficult for students…but read on!)
  • Students and teachers use a model that has the two sample paragraphs side by side for examination
  • This project SHOWS rather than tells what to include to make the contrast. It does this by using a model to compare the first sentence of each. The reaction of the character before and then after, the vocabulary/wording of the character before and after, etc. (Students can even use these highlights as a certain “formula” for their analysis paper—start with this kind of contrasting sentence, include words in both that show a change, etc. etc.—again showing, not telling)
  • It uses a familiar character, which aids greatly in dissecting behaviors, etc. (And I discuss how to use other characters for similar future projects.)

 I know your students will love this project as much as I love teaching you how to utilize it!

 Of course, just like every lesson in my one-month downloadable books and my one-semester Meaningful Composition books, this one also has the invaluable sample paragraphs and full explanation in the lesson of how to dissect the sample looking for the comparisons.

 And for your convenience, How I Teach…. is available as a podcast (follow along in your TN sheets for that week) and a YouTube video (with Power Point containing the same as the TN)! 

Note: This lesson came from Write On, Christmas Friends IV, a month-long downloadable book! It is also available as a stand-alone one week writing project at my downloadable store at Teachers Pay Teachers

Find everything you need here!

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Master (continually updated) Teacher’s Notebook downloadable booklet

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How I Teach YouTube Channel

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