Subject: ELA (English Language Arts)

Lesson Length: 45 min - 1 hour

Topic: Compare & Contrast Characters

Grade Level: 5

Objective: Analysis, Explanation

Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.3

Brief Description: Students will compare and contrast two characters in a story.

Know Before You Start: This lesson is most helpful when using text with strong character descriptions.

Comparing Characters - Exemplar comic, panel 1 Comparing Characters - Exemplar comic, panel 2

Hook:

  1. Ask students to compare and contrast the characters in the sample comic. How are they similar? How are they different? What do they notice about each character’s personality?
  2. Refer to the current novel or story students are reading in class.
  3. Using a Venn Diagram or T-Chart, compare and contrast two characters in the story based on the following characteristics: 
  • Physical traits
  • Actions
  • Thoughts
  • Dialogue
  • Interactions with others
  • Challenges faced

Activity:

  • Have students read a selected text and complete a graphic organizer of their own.
  • Students will then create a two panel comic, one for each character. Each comic panel will demonstrate similarities and differences of both story characters. 

Closure: Ask students to share their comics with a partner and discuss how the similarities and differences of the characters impact the events and understanding of the story.

Differentiation:

  • Pre-teach vocabulary for ELL students
  • Provide visuals for each characteristic
  • Provide sentence starters
  • Allow students to work with peer model
  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text tool

Resources:

  • Story or Novel with strong character description such as Because of Winn Dixie By Kate DiCamillo or Verdi by Janell Cannon.
  • T-Chart or Venn Diagram for brainstorming character similarities and differences
  • An extension of this standard is to have students analyze the dialogue in the story to infer character traits.
  • Example comic to print or display: Comic