This unit of study focuses readers on studying not just characters, but characterisation, or how authors create multifaceted characters replete with weakness and strengths, complex relationships with others, and life lessons they learn and teach. The unit strikes a delicate balance between encouraging readers to hold on to the magic of reading, allowing them to slip longingly into the pages of a compelling story, and presenting readers with opportunities to engage in meta-analysis, fostering an appreciation of the craft of the text as well as the story.
Throughout the unit readers will:
- come to apprentice themselves to characters they discover in realistic fiction
- explore how authors use perspective, point of view, and the management of time across the story to control readers’ sympathy and experience of epiphanies
- consider moments or scenes in narratives as windows into characters
- learn to think and talk like readers who are also writers with their own checklists of authorial techniques
- develop the ability to reread and rethink as they examine stories through multiple lenses
Note: This unit is recommended as a way to launch your reading workshop practice in the beginning of the school year when taught in grades 7 and 8 as it pays particular attention to building readers’ habits in addition to their interpretation skills.