Lesson plan

Keeping Good Character

This reading and writing lesson also helps students develop empathy. After paying attention to the main character's responses in Victoria and Elizabeth Kann's *Purplelicious*, students will relate her experiences to their own.
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Students will be able to describe a character's emotions and support their descriptions with textual evidence.

(15 minutes)
  • Pass out the small journals.
  • Write the following prompt on the board and ask students to respond to it: Share a time when you were teased or treated unkindly at school.
  • Allow about 5-7 minutes for students to respond in their journals.
  • Share any experiences you had as a child with the class, and then ask a few student volunteers to stand and share their written responses. Continue with a class discussion on feelings that were experienced.
  • On the board, write a list of emotions that students experienced when teased or treated unkindly. Keep this list up for future reference.
  • Show the class the over of Purplicious, and tell them you would like to share this story with them.
  • Ask them to pay close attention to the main character's feelings, as well as what events caused them.
  • Read aloud Purplicious.
(10 minutes)
  • Return to the list of emotions generated by the class earlier in the lesson.
  • Point to the emotions one at a time, and ask students whether the main character of the story experienced that emotion.
  • Circle any emotions that are identified. Ask students if there are any new feelings that they would like to add to the list that describe Pinkalicious.
  • Tell students that the character in the story experiences all of these emotions, but at different times.
  • Write "Character Response" on the board. Explain that character responses in a story contribute to the sequence of events.
  • Select a word from the list and providing evidence from the story to support that emotion. For example, you can point to the word "confused" and refer to Pinkalicious writing in her diary, saying she both likes and dislikes the color pink. Show students the illustration of this scene from the book.
  • Say to students, "The last entry of her diary reads, 'Pink has no purpose.' How does Pinkalicious respond to this?"
  • Pause for student responses, then show the illustration of her wearing a blue dress.
  • Ask students, "How does Pinkalicious feel about wearing a blue dress?"
  • Pause for student responses, then have students support their answers with evidence from the story.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out a blank sheet of paper and colored pencils or crayons to each student.
  • Ask students to fold their papers in half "hamburger style" and open them up to show two large rectangles.
  • Have them first work on the left hand side of their paper. Ask students to write the following sentence starter at the top: In the story, Pinkalicious felt...
  • Tell students they will complete the sentence using an emotion word from the list.
  • At the top of the right side, ask students to write: My evidence shows her...
  • Tell students they will support their emotion by completing the sentence with evidence from the story.
  • Tell students that an illustration will be completed for each side to support their responses.
  • Explain that a mini response book is being made.
  • Have students fold their papers again.
  • On the front, ask them to write the book title, author, and their names.
  • On the back, students will respond to the following questions: Why do you think Pinkalicious goes back to wearing pink? What do you think would happen at school?
  • Write down the book title, author, and questions on the board.
(25 minutes)
  • Students will complete their assignment independently.
  • Remind students to complete the front and back pages of their book.
  • Monitor student work and provide support when necessary.
  • Make a copy of the Purplicious available for students to review.
  • Enrichment: Students in need of a challenge can be assigned the Conflict worksheet. In addition to completing their books, they'll need to write letters to Pinkalicious giving her advice.
  • Support: Have struggling students illustrate first, then write. If necessary, substitute the written assignment requirements with oral responses.

A document camera may be used for student sharing during Review and Closing.

(5 minutes)
  • To check for student understanding, monitor the classroom as students are working.
  • Collect students' books at the end of the lesson, and review them later to assess understanding.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask for student volunteers to share their completed work with the class.
  • Ask students, "If this were you, how would you have handled the problem?"
  • Encourage peer feedback and sharing.

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