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In Someone's Shoes
Using characters in a short story or novel, students ask questions to understand another character’s point of view.
- TLWDA to understand and analyze a character’s point of view.
- TLWDA to write interview questions in English.
- TLWDA to ask and answer questions orally in English.
- TLWDA to apply the concept of position versus interests to a character in a short story or novel. (The goal is not to reach a different decision, but just to understand what motivated a character’s decision.)
Lead-in / Preparation
Students need to have all read a particular short story or novel.
Estimated Class-Time Required
45 minutes (1 lesson)
Description of Activity
- Pair students up.
- Each pair selects 2 different characters from a given short story or novel.
- Each student writes 4-5 questions for their partner’s character to help uncover the character’s interests regarding the conflict in the story. Possible questions to use:
- Why did you make that decision?
- Can you tell me more about it?
- Can you explain your thinking to me?
- What concerns you about the decision you made
- What do you fear might happen if you make a different decision?
- Post examples of follow-up questions as listed below.
- Students interview one another, each acting the part of their selected character. They should answer the interview questions in keeping with what they know about the character.
- As the interview proceeds, the students should be encouraged to ask some of the follow-up questions listed below.
- Optional: Each student will write down a summary of the answers received.
Debrief the activity with the students. Ask questions, such as the following:
- What did you learn about either character that you didn’t consider ahead of time?
- How might you have persuaded the character to make a different decision?
- How might you apply this strategy to your life?
The students will reflect on the activity and consolidate their learning through the debriefing process.
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