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Liana Alcantara Professor Willis CI 403 LPA #3, Week 5 Title: Character Study: What makes up Saleem?

Time: This lesson was designed to take a full 50 minute class period.

Theory Into Practice Background: This lesson is a good example of the Feed Up, Feed Back, Feed Forward as expressed in our theoretical rationale. The exit slips are a way to get feed back from each individual student in a no-pressure manner. There is no grade for correctness for the exit slips, this is a place for the students to further engage with the material in a way that allows me as the teacher to assess where they are in understanding the lesson as a whole. As Burke says in The English Teachers Companion, Writing is the heart of the English classroomYou cant write and not think. (151-2) Furthermore, this lesson is an example of differentiated instruction. It would be easy to have students write up actual character sketches of these characters, but instead, the drawing aspect engages their minds in a different way and forces them to think more metaphorically about the characters. The explanation paragraph ensures that students have the vocabulary to discuss the ideas represented in their pictures in writing as well, but the drawing activity can be helpful to students for whom writing is difficult, and even for those who enjoy writing, it serves as a nice break.

Objectives: By the end of this lesson, students will: Be able to identify specific aspects of the characters in the family other than Saleem: Amina, Ahmed, Mary, Brass Monkey, Aadam Aziz, Reverend Mother, William Methwold Be able to identify character motivations of these same characters. Be able to synthesize this information and see how it directly affects Saleems character.

Materials: For this lesson, you will need: Copies of Midnights Children for every student Chart paper and markers for groups to make character sketches Tape to put up the sketches around the room The original Where Im From poem by George Ella Lyon and the template we used in CI 403 on a handout, with copies for every student

Preparation: Students will have read the next two chapters in Book 2 for this lesson, Love in Bombay and My Tenth Birthday. To ensure that the lesson goes smoothly, have the chart paper and markers in an easily accessible place before students come into the classroom, that way once they break into groups they can get to work as quickly as possible. Also, make sure that everything is copied before class starts.

Procedure: 1) As students enter the class, have them turn in journals from Week 4 and sit in their seats. Have the following character names written on the board before students enter the room: Amina, Ahmed, Mary, Brass Monkey, Aadam Aziz, Reverend Mother, and William Methwold. Once the bell rings, explain the character sketch activity to students. (5 minutes) a. While most character sketches are short essays or bulleted lists about a character, this activity is to make a literal sketch of a character. There is chart paper and markers up in the front of the room. What I want each group to do is to create a metaphorical character sketch. What this means is I want everything you draw to have a specific meaning. If you put a character in a certain color, explain why. If a character is caring or compassionate, draw a large heart. If they over-think things, make their head disproportionately large. After you draw your character, write up what each element means and how these elements help/hinder the characters goals throughout the novel. You will be presenting these to the class. 2) Allow students to choose which character they want to work on, no more than four students in a group. It is fine if there are repeats on characters, so long as all of them are done. Allow students time to work in class and prepare to present. (20-25 minutes) 3) Have each group present their character sketches and explain why they drew each character the way they did. Allow time for students to ask questions of the presenting group. When the group is done, give the group tape to put their sketch and explanation on the wall. Draw connections between character traits and character motivations, and what each character has accomplished or not accomplished because of their traits. (10 minutes)

4) Have students return to their seats and pass out the Where Im From poem. Have students follow along as you read the poem aloud, then explain the assignment. Allow students to wok on this for the rest of class, with the goal of having the poem done by the end of class to share before they leave. (10-15 minutes) a. A common theme throughout Midnights Children is how family history has a direct impact on Saleem, even though he is not blood related. Write a Where Im From poem from young Saleems point of view, using the aspects of the characters we discussed in class today in the poem. Then, write a short paragraph answering the following question: What aspects of young Saleem do we still see in Saleem in the present? What seems to have changed? What aspects of Saleem have influenced the history of India? 5) Exit slip: have students answer the following question and turn it in as they leave: What does it mean that Saleem has internalized a family history that is not biologically his? Does this matter? Why or why not? Might it matter in the future? What does family truly mean in this story? (3-5 minutes)

Discussion Ideas: While the bulk of this lesson revolves around the character sketches, the main discussion point I want to emphasize comes at the end of the student presentations. Take, for example, Amina. She tried to find a way to make herself love her new husband, Ahmed, but by loving him in pieces, she was never able to love perhaps one of the most important parts, being intimate with him. However, she wanted to be a mother, so she had to force herself past this aversion, though this is a key factor in why their marriage was

plagued with problems. What character traits of Amina led to this? Or another example, look at Ahmed. What character traits led him to his alcoholism and repeated failures with the tetrapods?

Bilingual/ESL and Englishes Accommodations: The visual and artistic elements of this lesson would be very helpful to ESL students, because the information is synthesized outside of a language barrier. If students need help with the Where Im From poem, having the original poem in front of them could be helpful. If students needed to have the poem ahead of time to go over it with the ESL teacher, that would be simple enough to arrange.

Special Education Accommodations: For the student with ADHD, the hands on activity of creating a metaphorical character sketch would be a welcome difference to the large group discussion format that dominate many other classrooms. These would also be visual representations around the room of information weve gone over as a class, and could help inform later lessons by simply being available on the walls.

Assessment: The collaborative exercise of creating the character sketch and explanation of the sketch will provide a good way to assess understanding in a group setting. For individual assessment, there is another exit slip and an individual assignment that requires a synthesis of the information presented in class. The assignment sheet for the Where Im From poem is at the end of this

lesson plan.

Extension Ideas: If students wanted to expand on this lesson, they could draw their own character sketches for other characters, possibly those outside the family that still have an effect of Saleem. They could also write Where Im From poems specifically about the character that they made a sketch of, and see if any of these ties are similar to the poem they wrote about Saleem.

Source of Activity: I took the idea of the Where Im From poem from all of my CI 400 level classes, as I did different versions of them in 401, 402, and 403. The template for the poem comes specifically from CI 403. The rest of the lesson I made up myself.

Resources and References: Burke, Jim. The English Teacher's Companion: a Complete Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession. 3rd ed. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2008. Print. The Moodle site for CI 403 for the Where Im From poem and template

Illinois State English Language Arts Goals: This lesson meets the following ISBE standards: 2.A.5b Evaluate relationships between and among characters, plot, setting, theme, conflict and resolution and their influence on the effectiveness of a literary piece. o This lesson centers on understanding the ties that bind these characters to each

other, the defining character traits that are passed on to Saleem, and the impact that those traits have on the history of India and the novel as a whole. 4.B.5b Use speaking skills to participate in and lead group discussions; analyze the effectiveness of the spoken interactions based upon the ability of the group to achieve its goals. o The first part of this standard is met through the group presentation of the character sketch.

Where Im From by George Ella Lyon

I am from clothespins, from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride. I am from the dirt under the back porch. (Black, glistening, it tasted like beets.) I am from the forsythia bush the Dutch elm whose long-gone limbs I remember as if they were my own. I'm from fudge and eyeglasses, from Imogene and Alafair. I'm from the know-it-alls and the pass-it-ons, from Perk up! and Pipe down! I 'm from He restoreth my soul with a cottonball lamb and ten verses I can say myself. I'm from Artemus and Billie's Branch, fried corn and strong coffee. From the finger my grandfather lost to the auger, the eye my father shut to keep his sight. Under my bed was a dress box spilling old pictures, a sift of lost faces to drift beneath my dreams. I am from those moments snapped before I budded -leaf-fall from the family tree. Assignment: Write a Where Im From poem from young Saleems point of view, using the aspects of the characters we discussed in class today in the poem. Then, write a short paragraph answering the following question: What aspects of young Saleem do we still see in Saleem in the present? What seems to have changed? What aspects of Saleem have influenced the history of India? **If you need help getting started with your poem, look on the back of this sheet for a template.

The Where Im From Template I am from ___________________________(specific, ordinary item), from ________________(product name) and _________________ (an item you really love). I am from the ____________________ (home description. . . adjective, adjective, sensory detail). I am from the __________(plant, flower, natural item), the _____________(plant, flower, natural detail) I am from __________(family tradition) and _____(family trait), from__________(name of family member) and __________(another family name) and _________(family name). I am from the _________(description of a family tendency) and ______________(another family tendency). From ___________(something you were told as a child) and ___________(another). I am from _______________ (something you really believe in), from_______________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________. (further description, if possible). Im from ___________(place of birth and family ancestry), from ________ and __________(two food items representing your family). From the ________________________________________(specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _________________________(another detail), and the ______________________(another detail about another family member). I am from _______(description of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating the worth of these).

Read or listen to the original poem by George Ella Lyon at:

This assignment is worth 10 points, 5 for addressing the characters we discussed in

class and direct references to the text, 5 for creativity in speaking in Saleems voice.