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Gentlehands, A Characterization Lesson

written by: goldwriter•edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch•updated: 7/5/2009

The following is a culminating assessment for the novel, Gentlehands.

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    The Task/Activity

    As students read Gentlehands they will learn that character traits are descriptive words which help us infer information about a character. They will analyze characters, comparing and contrasting character traits, and writing an essay using context from the novel to discuss his or her claims based on the character traits revealed in the text.

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    Gentlehands Writing Project

    Spend at least two weeks reading Gentlehands in class. Before reading, we will discuss characterization and how it helps us imagine the characters, relate them to people we may know or have knowledge of, and how we use that information to make predictions and understand the plot of a novel.

    During the course of reading the novel, the student will, in groups of two or three, designated by the teacher, complete character graphic organizers in which the students must list words describing character traits, listing the accompanying page numbers (to support their responses). Each day, one student in each group will be the reporter, in charge of writing the information on paper. The other student(s) will locate the character traits from the text. All students must participate in the group. The students will also summarize plot events from daily readings, writing four sentences every day in a journal.

    Individually, using a writing prompt, the students will write a formal book review with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion which uses context from the novel supports his/her theories in analyzing the characters. A book review does not merely discuss a plot, but a true review is a critical analysis, discussing literary techniques used in a novel. The students will compare and contrast the book to their own experiences, world experience, or events in other books, common skills used in book reviews. They must use these critical analysis skills in their book reviews.

    The students will make a prediction on the outcome of the novel based on what they have read. In the real world, people use book reviews to help them understand more about a book before they purchase it. The students will create an advertisement, illustrating a movie representing the novel, using celebrities who may act out the characters in a motion picture.