Global Issues Choice Book Unit (Post 2)

Updated: Jun 17

This lesson is a continuation of Global Issues Choice Book Unit (Post 1)


The purpose of this lesson is to get students thinking about the characters in their books and how they are developed through direct and indirect characterization.

1. Explain to students how daily discussions will work. (Every day when they come in, they will share their Double Entry Journal and then use the questions they came up with to further the discussion.)

2. Put students in groups and have them share out their DEJ’s. Have one student at a time share out a DEJ and go around the circle twice. Invite students to discuss any points they found interesting or confusing. This might not happen until later in the unit when students are a little more comfortable. Walk around and try to help students through confusion or redirect groups that are not sharing out.

3. Pull students together for a whole group discussion on characterization.

4. Write the following sentences on the board:

“Mary is lazy.”

“Mary threw the can from her window into the recycling bin instead of walking out the door and around the house.”

Ask students which sentence is more direct. Then ask which one creates a better picture in the reader’s mind. Have students look at the next group of sentences and determine which one is a direct characterization and which one is indirect.

“Sandy is smart.”

“Sandy earned all A’s on her report card.”

5. Explain to students that authors have different methods of introducing characters. They can do it directly by using adjectives, or indirectly through thought, action, and dialogue. Put this information on the board.

6. Pass out a file folder to each group with at least 1 character outline inside.

7. Have students look through the first few pages of their novel for direct and indirect

characterizations. They should write down the characterizations on their cut out and start decorating the person as they learn about him/her. Circulate and check what students have written down.

8. Once students get two direct characterizations and two indirect characterizations, they can put their cut out back in the folder for tomorrow and start on their homework (DEJ 2) as other groups finish up.

9. On the board, label “Direct Characterizations” and “Indirect Characterizations.” Have each group share out one of each to wrap up.

10. Homework: Read and complete DEJ # 2. Encourage students to keep an eye out for characterization.

**Hands-on characterization lesson: I sell a more hands-on direct/indirect characterization lesson in my TpT store if you have kids who might need it.**


At the end of this lesson, students should be able to formulate a good discussion question.

1. Introduce Bloom’s Taxonomy by drawing it on the board or projecting it on a screen. Ask students if they have seen it before and if they know what it is.

2. Give out question stems and have students look them over.Emphasize that questioning works the brain in a different way and shows the teacher that you are thinking.

3. Read article “Ten Stories The World Should Hear More About: Struggle for Survival: Columbia’s Indigenous People Face Threat of Extinction.” (I cannot find my original link to this article. If you find it, please send it to me so that I can properly link & credit it.) Before reading, discuss the word “indigenous” and show Columbia on a map.

4. Read the first paragraph out loud to the class and together come up with a “knowledge” question.

5. Read the second paragraph out loud and come up with “comprehension” and “analysis” questions together. Make sure all of your thinking is out loud.

6. Read the third and fourth paragraphs and come up with “synthesis” and “evaluation” questions.

7. Ask students to reiterate the six types of questions.

8. Put students in their groups and have students do the following:

Share out their second DEJ.

As a group, have them create three open-ended questions (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) for the second section of their book (the section they just shared out about.)

Have them put their questions on the question handout.

Collect these question handouts when they are done and look them over. If the questions are good, give them to another group with the same book to discuss and answer. If the questions need work, help students revise them. (If you do not have multiple groups for the same book, just have students answer their own questions).

9. Review the importance and purpose of questioning

10. Assign Homework: Students should complete DEJ # 3

LESSON # 6: Article Day

Lesson purpose: Students will be able to make connections between a newspaper article and their text.

1. Review comprehension procedures that you have covered so far (previewing a book and making predictions, tracking characters, asking questions.). Introduce the idea that text-to-text connections are connections a person makes between something they are reading and something they have read in the past.

2. Before having students read articles specific to their novel, practice text-to-text connections as a class. This activity depends on what you have read so far this year. Pick a passage out of a book, short story, or newspaper that relates to a text you have studied in class previously. Read the passage out loud to students and ask them to connect ideas, characters, or writing style to other pieces they have read. I started the year with Stuck in Neutral so for this activity I used an article about special education students and their families.

3. Have students get into groups and give each group an article relating to their novel. Suggestions are below. Students should work together to annotate the article with text-to-text connections.

Sold-“Prevention” from

Night-“The Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia…Survivors Tell Their Stories”

Memoirs of a Boy Soldier- “U.N. Report…”

As the World Burns- “How to Stop Global Warming”

Iqbal-“India's carpet industry plagued by child labor”

4. After annotating, students should

Turn in their annotations to the teacher (give students class work credit after checking to see that they made some good connections)

Share out/discuss DEJ # 3

5. Review the benefits of making text-to-text connections and encourage students to make them while reading and working on their DEJ’s.

6. Assign double entry journal # 4 for homework and give students time to start.

Daily LESSON # 7-Evaluate Text Structure

At the end of this lesson, students should be able to write a paragraph about their author’s style.


1.Ask students to answer the following questions:

How would you describe Lebron James’ style of basketball playing?

How would you describe Justin Beiber’s style of singing?

How would you describe your style of dress?

2.Explain that different styles suit different people and authors are the same way. Each writer has a style and that style serves a purpose.

3. Have students turn to page 490 in their textbook and look at the poem “in Just-“ by e.e. cummings

4. Read the poem out loud twice either as a class or with individual student volunteers

5. Before discussing meaning, ask them to make some observations about the author’s style. Keep a list on the board.

6. Once they are done listing, discuss what the poem might mean and why they think the author wrote the poem in this way.

7. Put students in their groups and give them a big sheet of paper to make a poster about their author’s style.

Students should:

Draw the cover of their novel in the middle of the poster and write out the title and author at the top.

Surround the visual with at least ten adjectives that describe their author’s writing style. Walk around and discuss with students why they are choosing the adjectives they are. At the bottom, they need to write a paragraph on why they think their author chose that style for their novel.

8. Once students finish their poster, they should:

Hang their poster up

Share out/discuss their 4th DEJ

Update their character cut outs

9. Individually, have students fill in a paragraph frame (click here for handout):

An author’s style can be described as_________________________________________. Author’s write in a certain way because__________________________________________________. For example, the author’s style in the novel___________________________ can be described as__________________. (author name)________________ writes this way for this novel because__________________________________________________________________________.

10. Assign DEJ 5 for homework.

Daily LESSON # 8


Purpose of lesson: Students will be able to list the traits of a book that serves a social purpose, as well as locate those traits in the novel they are reading.

1. Ask students to brainstorm traits of a book that is meant to entertain. List answers on the board.

2. Next, hold up some examples of books with a social function (Rachel Carson’s-Silent Spring, Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, or Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle) and explain briefly what each novel was writing about.

Ask students to brainstorm the traits a book with a social function will have. (Hopefully they come up with something along the lines of “deals with a problem,” “deals with a human problem”, “appeals to emotion”, “encourages change”). If they don’t, guide the conversation to get to this point. If they list too many items, ask them to pick the 3 or 4 most important traits.

3. Make sure you have space under the 3 or 4 most important traits because students will be finding examples from their books and taping them to the whiteboard.

4. Remind students that they all have been reading novels dealing with social issues and have them get into their groups.

5. Direct them to go on a scavenger hunt to find an example of the important traits you have worked together to list on the board. Give each group three index cards to write their answers on. Once they are done, they should tape their cards on the board under the appropriate label ( “deals with a human problem”, “appeals to emotion,” “encourages change”)

6. Have them share out DEJ 5.

7. Once students have finished reading DEJ 5, focus their attention on the board again and read an example from each category to review the traits of a novel with a social function.

8. Cover the board and handout a piece of scrap paper as an exit response. Have students list the traits of a novel that serves a social purpose.

9. Assign Homework: Complete DEJ 6

LESSON # 9: Assign Final Project and work on it


1. Explain the final project and its requirements. Hand out project requirement sheet (see attachment).

2. Emphasize requirement # 6-that they have to do something to solve the problem.

3. Put students in groups and have them Share out DEJ # 6

4. Take students to the computer lab to start research and PowerPoints.

5. Reemphasize requirements of PowerPoint

6. Assign DEJ # 7

LESSON # 10-Project Work Day


1. Ask students: When a teacher is going through a PowerPoint with you, what do you notice about its formatting? What are some things you don’t like that teachers do with PowerPoint?

2. Use this conversation to segue into a review of the PowerPoint requirements.

3. Put students into their groups and have them

Share out DEJ 7.

Discuss whether or not they liked the ending.

4. Once students are done sharing out, send them to the computer lab to work on the PowerPoint.

5. Take questions.

LESSON # 11 Work Day

Lesson purpose: Students will use MLA formatting correctly throughout their PowerPoint.

1.Ask students what they remember about research and MLA formatting and list them on the board

2. Discuss which aspects they think will transfer over to their PowerPoints (give credit to sources: in-text and works cited)

3. Send students to the computer lab to work. Walk around and observe groups. Take notes on how everyone is doing and who is not participating in group work

4. Orally review MLA formatting for a presentation. Provide examples of proper MLA citation.

LESSON # 12-Work Day

1. Use your notes from the previous class’s observations to determine if there is anything you need to review. If there is not, send students to the computer lab to work.

2. Send students to the computer lab to work on final presentations.

3. Make sure students do a practice run of their presentation and know who is going to present each slide.

4. Have students email you the PowerPoint or save it on a flash drive so that there can be smooth transition between presentations.

5. Take questions

LESSON # 13 & 14-Presentations

1. Ask students: When you are reading, why is it important to think about what you are reading? Segue into active listening and discuss why thinking while listening is important as well.

2. Explain to students that a form of active listening is note-taking, but an even higher form of thinking is evaluation (refer to a Bloom’s Taxonomy visual).

3. Give each student a rubric to fill in for each presentation & show them how to use it.

4. Choose a group to present. Give time for Q & A.

5. Give students a minute or two to finish evaluation sheets and then have them pass the evaluation sheets to you.

6. Repeat until you run out of class time

Lesson # 15-Wrap Up

Please feel free to post any resources that you think will be helpful in the comments section below.

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