Course Syllabus

Below you will find a frame work for which students will complete within this unit.

Unit 1- Reading
Investigating Characterization: Author-Study Book Clubs

Planning Tool: Teaching Points
Bend I A Deep Dive into Perspective

1. Read-Aloud: Attending to Details that Illuminate Perspective
Today, through read-aloud, I want to teach you how to read with attentiveness, alert to the ways
that authors insert details into the start of a story that will help you begin to understand the
perspective of the main character(s).

2. Attending to Minor Characters and How They See the World
Today I want to remind you that readers not only consider what shapes the main characters’
perspectives. They also do this for minor characters. One tip I’ll give you is that since you rarely
get to hear the inner thinking of minor characters, to understand minor characters you especially
look for details that are embedded in dialogue or actions.

3. Figuring Out Point of View—Who Is Telling the Story?
Today I want to teach you that sometimes the reader hears a story through the voice of one
character, and then everything is shaped by that character’s point of view. Other times the reader
gets a wider point of view, seeing scenes that the main character isn’t in. One way readers
investigate point of view is to look closely at how the story begins.

4. Authors Lead Readers to Epiphanies
Today I want to teach you that often, when at first it seems that a person has changed, what has
actually changed is your perspective on that person. When reading, as you get new information
about a character, that new information often leads your perspective to change.

5. Authors Channel Readers’ Sympathy by Controlling Access to Characters’ Inner
Today I want to teach you that one way authors control readers’ sympathy for a character is by
giving or restraining access to that character’s inner thinking. When readers have more access to a
character’s inner thinking, they tend to sympathize more with that character. Readers, then, can
investigate which characters they sympathize more or less with, and why.

6. Distinguishing Simultaneous, Multiple Perspectives
Today I’ll teach you that in books, as in life, sometimes characters have very different
perspectives. Readers are alert to moments in a story when characters seem to have different
perspectives, and they try to better understand these differences. Sometimes, it can be helpful for
a reader to role-play the mindset of a character.

7. Reflecting across the Parts of a Reading Life
Today I want to teach you that becoming a more powerful reader is a lot like becoming a more
powerful soccer player. As with anything you want to improve in, it’s worth taking the time to
think about what you’re doing well and ways to become even stronger

Bend II Author’s Craft: Analyzing How Authors Bring Characters to Life

8. Read-Aloud: Noticing Moments that Give Readers Extra Insight into Characters
Today, through read-aloud, I’ll invite you to notice moments in the story that may give you extra
insight into characters. You’ll begin to understand that even if you are unsure why a moment
seems important, if that feeling is strong, it’s worth rereading, pausing over, because often these
moments are windows into characters.

9. Analyzing Small, Powerful Moments to Get Even More Insight into Characters
Today I want to teach you that often, in life and in books, the smallest moments are the ones in
which characters are revealed. It’s important to look past the big, dramatic events to the easily
overlooked, smaller moments because those moments can lead you to deeper understandings of a

Students will cover the following learning standards within this unit

Key Ideas and Details:

Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).

Craft and Structure:

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
Analyze how a drama's or poem's form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning
Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).
Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.

Course Summary:

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