ALEX Lesson Plan


What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror? Examining Character Motivation

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Claire Hoffman
System: Shelby County
School: Shelby County Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 17134


What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror? Examining Character Motivation


During this unit, students will ask “Why do we do what we do?” They will read different novels to analyze character motivation. Throughout the unit they will debate whether they think characters made smart choices and why. They will also become more familiar with story elements.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
1 ) Use input and output devices of technology systems.

Examples: input—recording devices, keyboards, touchscreens

-  output—printers

•  Demonstrating ergonomics relative to technology systems
•  Demonstrating correct keyboarding techniques
•  Demonstrating safe removal of storage media
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
2 ) Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.

•  Using navigational features commonly found in technology applications
•  Identifying digital file types
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
3 ) Identify common hardware and software problems.

•  Determining basic troubleshooting strategies to correct hardware and software problems
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
7 ) Explain the influence of technology on society.

Examples: multiple digital communities, medical and agricultural advancements

Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
10 ) Use digital environments to collaborate and communicate.

Examples: publishing online journals, sharing presentations, contributing to online discussions, communicating with experts

•  Producing digital works collaboratively
Examples: developing shared writing projects and group multimedia projects

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 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). [RL.4.3]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
9 ) By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the Grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. [RL.4.10]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
35 ) Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace. [SL.4.4]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will:
a) Name the main characters in a text.
b) Retell a story including the problem, solution and climax.
c) Research and create a slideshow presentation on owls.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will:
a) Cut and paste to a document.
b) Create a basic slideshow presentation.
c) Create a document using desktop publishing software.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

Technology Resources Needed:

Computers with Internet access, printer, desktop publishing software, word processing software, presentation software, LCD projector for viewing presentations


1.) Introduce the essential question by reading The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. Visit the website below and discuss the elements of a story.
Explain how the question ”Why do we do what we do?” can be discussed with everything we read this semester.
(Elements of a Story)
This site describes each element of a story in many details.

2.) Review the content questions before introducing the novel. Introduce the book, Wringer, and explain that there is a boy in the novel who has some hard choices to make. As the class works through the book study focus on identifying the elements of the story.
Have students continue to examine the question, ”Why do we do what we do?”.

3.) While studying Wringer have students use desktop publishing software to create a brochure for “Family feast.” They will use facts found in the book along with creative “extras” to complete the project. They must include an article on the pigeon shoot and the carnival, along with at least one price list for either games or rides.
Review the link below to show students how to create a brochure.

4.) Review the elements of a story before introducing the next novel. Introduce the book, Hoot, with a discussion of endangered animals. Review how Palmer felt about the pigeon in Wringer, and explain that many people have a love like that for animals. In the book, Hoot, there is a mystery that also involves birds but this time the birds are endangered.

5.)After completing Hoot, have students create a slideshow presentation on burrowing owls. They must include facts on habitat, food, region they live, and a slide on whether they believe Roy made the correct choice or not. They will use different search engines like Google to research the burrowing owl. They must also include pictures of burrowing owls.
Review the attached instruction sheet on how to copy and paste and how to save a picture from the Internet with the students. Review the link below to help students create their slideshows.
(Power Point Tutorial)
This link teaches students how to create a multimedia presentation.

6.)Allow students to present their slideshows. Have students discuss why they think the characters acted the way they did.

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Assessment Strategies

Students will be assessed using the attached rubrics.


Possible extra activities:
•Compile web pages and create links
•Write a letter to a community leader about protecting wildlife
•Lead a debate on pigeon hunting
•Create a slideshow project on Cher Ami



Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.