Why Did They Do That?
Students sometimes miss the significance of a fictional character’s behavior because these inexperienced readers may have missed direct and/or indirect characterization clues authors incorporate to show what motivates their characters to act or reaction they way they do. This is especially true with indirect characterization. Consider in-class activities that require a return to the text.
Two ways to help students understand the reasons characters interact and relate to others are to explore values and to make masks.
See VALUES INFLUENCE READING, WRITING AND VIEWING
for sample in-class activities that invite students to consider what they value and why they are drawn to or repulsed by characters or arguments in the texts they read. Then, ask students to consider what the various characters a
nd writers seem to value and ways both mount arguments to get others to change their minds or their behavior.
See MAKING MASKS HELPS REVEAL CHARACTER
for sample in-class activity during which students locate quotations from the texts to guide their choice of color, imagery, and arrangements on masks for specific characters that show who they are and what they value.