It is important for students to not only recognize how a character learns and grows, but to also understand how the story's unfolding events affected those changes. This Foldable® has students consider the underlying reasons of why a main character changed, supporting their ideas and inferences with evidence from the text.
We love to use Patricia Polacco's autobiographical books to teach this concept because she is able to express the feelings she experienced so vividly. It is obvious from reading her stories that she has been influenced by so many events and people in her life.
We used the book Mrs. Mack for our whole class model.
|How a Character Changes Top-Tab Foldable®|
In the middle of the inside of the Foldable®, glue a 2-tab made out of a half sheet of 8 1/2 X 11 paper. Label the upper tab "How the Main Character Changed" and "Why She Changed".
Introduce the whole class guided activity by discussing these questions, Think about yourself a year ago. Have you changed? How? How has your behavior changed? How have you as a person changed? Is there anything that you used to be nervous about and are not anymore? What made you change?
On an index card, ask students to respond to this question: "What makes people change?" Save as a pre-assessment. Tell students that they will be learning about why people change through characters in stories. This will help them better understand themselves, better understand others, and better understand the stories they read.
Read the first few pages of the story (to the second paragraph on page 14) and fill in the left side of Foldable® with evidence from the text. Using that information, discuss what it tells you about Patricia so far. What character traits does she have? What does she care about? What is her attitude? What is she feeling? How do you know?
Read the rest of the story. Go back and fill in the right side of the Foldable®, again using evidence from the story. Using that information, discuss Patricia at the end of the story. What character traits is she showing? What does she care about? What is her attitude? What are her feelings?
After filling in all of the information, open up the left and the right side tabs so that students can easily compare the character at the beginning of the story with the end of the story. Discuss, what has changed?
Ask, when did she change? Did she change all at once or did it happen over time? Which events do you think changed her? List those events on the board. Go back to the text and analyze the events. Discuss, which three events do you think made the most impact on Patricia's change? Why are those the most important?
Have each student determine his/her three key events, and then fill in all the cells on his/her table, (event, how she reacted to the event, how others responded to the events and why this event was chosen). After completing their tables, have students discuss Patricia's changes using all of the evidence they collected. How did she change and why? Students then write about Patricia's changes under the tabs the 2-tab Foldable®.
To differentiate and provide guided and independent practice, choose from the following Patricia Polacco autobiographical books. Students can work with partners, small groups or individually, making and filling in a How Characters Change Top Pocket Foldable® and events table for the character in each book they read.
The Junkyard Wonders
Rotten Richie and the UltimateDare
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother Story
Thank you, Mr. Falker
The finished Top Pocket Foldables® make a wonderful display as students share and discuss the comparisons and connections between the characters in the books they've read. An author study would be a natural extension, as students learn about Patricia Polacco's life, customs, beliefs, and values through her stories.
As a post assessment have students respond to the following questions:
How do people change?
Why do they change?
What does this tell you about people in general?
How does understanding characters and how they change teach you? How does it help you as a reader and a writer?
Check out any of Dinah Zike's Big Books of Foldables® at Dinah-Might Adventures for the directions for the Top Pocket Foldable®and other Foldable® ideas.