I’m always looking for ways for my gifted students to interact with literature through different media, and realized that this TED Talk had applications as an interesting literary response activity.
All AboutCharacter Analysis
Another example of “structure that increases creativity” is character archetypes. An archetype, according to Wikipedia, is “an original model of a person, ideal example, or a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated.” Let’s use an inductive lesson to teach our students about these literary tools.
As we review for midyear tests, my students are working in groups to analyze eight characters from any story from this years’ readings. I’ve given them three dimensions to use when looking at each character. Each dimension is based on concepts created by three different researchers: Howard Gardner, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Sandra Kaplan.
Up near the top of Bloom’s taxonomy is “evaluating.” A great use of this level of thinking is to evaluate a character’s ethical choice. But we can go deeper! Let’s ask students to evaluate characters’ actions based on another character’s point of view. To add another layer, we’ll teach kids about philosophers and use their points of view as well.
Here’s an idea to integrate two-dimensional graphing with deep character analysis. Use the right characters, and you’ve got an exciting debate on your hands. Plus, it leads to a beautiful product that’s perfect for Open House.
Previously, we discussed using morality, multiple intelligences, and scholarly habits to analyze characters. Not only does this add deep layers to questioning, but (more importantly) it provides opportunities to discuss gifted students’ unique emotional needs. Personality types are another tool that serve these two needs.
Don’t ask why I was looking at this Disney Pin Trading site featuring Disney characters dressed up like other Disney characters, but it inspired a Halloween-themed character analysis activity. Characters from film or literature dress up like other characters based on some parallel such as: conflict, trait, accomplishment, etc.
In this article, we’ll expand on the ideas of graphing characters and also look at how we can use graphs to reinforce students’ judgments.
What separates a life well-lived from a poorly lived life? Aristotle believed it was moderation: too much of good thing can become just as much of a problem as too little. Looking at traits as excessive, moderate, or lacking is a unique take on character analysis.
To add depth to character analysis, let’s look beyond a character’s traits and dig into what influenced them to have those traits.