After struggling to find scaffolded information for my students to begin evaluating characters. I developed a two part Characterization project that would build on writing and evaluation skills.
What this includes:
1. Character Traits Project Assignment
2. Project outline and Sample Ideas PPT
3. Character Analysis and Motivation Mini-lesson PPT
4. Character Analysis Project and Pedagogy
5. Character Analysis Rubric
The first project I have students complete just a few weeks into school. This provides me with a fair assessment of their analytical and comprehension skills. This assignment is more creative-based, creating character memes or text conversations, but also involves quoting and citing textual evidence on a small scale to see where students skills naturally fall.
After working with more writing, and on more in-depth reading, I use the second part of the characterization project. This requires students to think more thoughtfully about a characters motivations. Write a four to five paragraph analysis, as well as create an interview conversation that could be used to present to the class.
I use this along side skills we practice with the short stories in the curriculum. While I have students analyze cartoon characters, I have also had them analyze characters in their independent reading books, or an in-class novel.
These two assignments should be progressive, skills should build, and students critical thinking should extend on a deeper level than they're original assignment. While the rubric for the second part details this, I like to have students take a look at their first project and have them discuss ways they could have been more thoughtful, have the write questions on post-its about each others projects to spark recognition of their potential.