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Reading/Writing
Grade: 3-5

#4739. When Characters Act Out of Character

Reading/Writing, level: 3-5
Posted 11/05/2013 by Kristin (Kristin).
Yorktown Heights
Materials Required: Tiger Rising, Post-its, Reading Notebook, Smartboard
Activity Time: 40 minutes
Concepts Taught: When Characters Act Out of Character

Teaching Point/Goal: Good readers understand characters are complicated and pay attention to when characters act out of character.

Framing Questions: How did the character act out of character? When did the character act out of character? What did the character do that was out of character? Why is he/she acting out of character? How do we know?

Link To Standards:
Reading Anchor Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
• Grade 4 Specific: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3 Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
Writing Anchor Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
• Grade 4 Specific: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1b Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.

Connection/Motivation: We have been reading the book Tiger Rising, by Kate DiCamillo. As we have been reading we have been analyzing characters. We think about them and the choices they make. Based on these observations, we have come up with big ideas about them. We start to feel like we know the characters. In fact, we think we know them so well that we think we will know how they will act in different situations. We think we can predict what they will do. . . But then suddenly, sometimes they don't do what we think! Characters are complicated and sometimes act out of character. It is important as a reader to notice when that happens and to stop and think. We think about what it means when characters act out of character and surprise us.

Model( I try): When trying to find if a character is acting out of character we can ask ourselves: How did the character act out of character? When did the character act out of character? What did the character do that was out of character? Why is he/she acting out of character? How do we know? It's not enough to just say the character is acting out of character. . . you need evidence from the text!

Think Aloud: In the book Tiger Rising, Rob acts out of character a lot when he is with Sistine. One example is when Sistine is getting bullied at school. Sistine is walking out of the lunchroom. Someone throws an apple at Sistine and it hits her. Rob sticks up for Sistine. This is so out of character for Rob! Rob is quiet and keeps to himself. I remember when we were reading, how we stopped because we realized this was so out of character. We were all shocked.
• I'm going to look back to that part in the text. Open the book to page 19-20. Read aloud the part where he yells "hey, leave her alone. . ." It even says in the book, that he can't believe the words were coming from him! I was so surprised I even wrote a post-it in the book.
He tells the bullies to leave her alone. This is very out of character for Rob because he never stands up for himself. He usually just sits there and takes it. He also never gets involved in other people's business.

This makes me think. I wonder why he is acting out of character. What does it tell me about how he feels about Sistine? Maybe. . . He feels connected to her in some way. Maybe Rob wants to protect Sistine. Maybe he thinks of her as a friend.

Active Involvement (We try): Think of some other times when we see Rob acts out of character. Use these questions (refer to slide) to help guide your response.
• Have students turn and talk. . . Discuss when else did Rob act out of character? How did he act out of character? What did he do? How do we know? Remind students they need text support.
• Call on 2-3 students to share response.

Independent/partner activity/group activity (You try): Today and everyday good readers stop and think when their character acts out of character. They may stop and jot it down on a post-it note so they can go back and look at it later.
• In notebooks have students write about a character in their book that acted out of character. What did they do? How did they act out of character? Why?
• Return to their desks and read independently (15-20minutes).

Plan for Differentiated Instruction/Activity:
Modeling using a text all students are familiar with.
By creating prompts/leads for students to finish.
By allowing students to read appropriate level books, they will be able to better understand their characters.
By leaving the example on the SmartBoard, students will be able to look back.
Conferencing with students while they are working independently.

Share/Closure:
1. Have students share with their tables about their character and how their character acted out of character.
2. If time permits, call on 2-3 students to share responses recorded in notebooks.