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Global Issues Choice Book Unit (Post 2)

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

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.