School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 7

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Advanced/Gifted and Talented: An advanced/gifted and talented tool is an idea for a complex, multi-step instructional task that requires students to apply knowledge and skills of multiple objectives that support one indicator. Tasks require students to interpret, analyze, and evaluate text at an appropriate level of complexity and embed a variety of differentiation strategies to challenge advanced readers. Many of these strategies and activities can be adapted for use with all students.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 3. Analyze elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding and interpretation

Objective e. Analyze relationships between and among characters, setting and events

Other Objectives Addressed

d.Analyze characterization

Instructional Task

Students will analyze characterization using a framework for understanding and interpreting personality called the Johari Window. Students will compose a letter or dialogue using elements of narrative text to present various aspects of a character’s personality (synthesis).

Development of Task

  1. Before reading, the teacher will introduce the Johari window approach to character analysis with the essential question, “What would happen if we could see ourselves through another person’s eyes?”
  2. The teacher will introduce the Johari Window as a tool that is used to help individuals improve communication and relationships. The teacher will explain that the Johari Window can also be used to analyze characters in a text. The teacher will distribute the Johari Window chart and explain that each section of the chart or pane of the window represents a different aspect of a character’s personality. The teacher should emphasize that the Public Self and the Blind Self should be obvious to the reader, but they will have to make inferences about the Private Self and the Unknown Self.

    Johari Window

  3. The teacher will model the use of the Johari Window to analyze characterization using a character from a narrative text that students have read previously. The students will discuss the traits and actions that comprise the main character’s Public Self, Private Self, Blind Self, and Unknown Self. The teacher will also lead students in a discussion of how these traits and actions affect other characters, settings, and events in the narrative. (objective e).
  4. The teacher will select narrative text of an appropriate level of complexity such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, or novels such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, or The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
  5. During reading, the students will use the Johari Window framework to analyze characterization (objective d).
  6. After reading, students will synthesize their analysis of the character using one of two methods, based on individual learning styles and preferences:

    • Students may assume the role of a friend to compose a letter to the character informing the character of how he or she views him/herself and how others view him or her (interpersonal intelligence). The letter should reflect the Public Self, Private Self, Blind Self, and Unknown Self. The letter should also explain why this information is important and how the character could use the information to improve situations at work, with his or her family, and/or in the community with friends and neighbors (objective e).
    • Students may assume the role of a friend and perform a dialogue with the character (kinesthetic/tactile learning style). The participants will discuss how the character views him/herself and how others view him or her. The dialogue should summarize the character’s Public Self, Private Self, Blind Self, and Unknown Self. The participants should also explain why this information is important and how the character could use the information to improve situations at work, with his or her family, and/or in the community with friends and neighbors (objective e).
/toolkit/vsc/advanced/reading/grade7/3A3e.xml
Resources for Objective 3.A.3.e:
Lesson Seeds | Public Release Items | ADVANCED/G-T |