Read more about the article Character “inner voice” to detect theme in The Moustache by Robert Cormier
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Character “inner voice” to detect theme in The Moustache by Robert Cormier

After understanding how to choose the theme of stories, poems, and songs, we will move into this lesson.  Using cartoons, the students will understand what inner/outer  voices are.  They will then infer the inner voices of characters in a short film. Then finally, they will work in groups based on characters from the short story, choosing them based on what they know about the character.  Then they will move into their final groups of 3, with one person representing each of the 3 characters.  In this group, they will present their theme, why they chose it (based on their character), and as a group, choose the one theme they like the best.  

This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.

In this activity, students will explore the process of relationship-building and examine how individuals react to a situation using the concept of the “internal voice.” First, they will role-play a situation from their own experience of meeting and connecting to someone. Then they will apply their understanding of relationship-building to their reading of Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Gate A-4” by reimagining it as what is being said/thought by the characters in the poem.

How Comfortable Are Your Shoes?

It’s a role-play of the main characters of Mr. Max Kelada, the narrator, Mrs. Ramsay, Mr. Ramsay and the “People-on-the-Ship” Representative (an imaginary character). However, it includes both the internal and external voices of the various characters along with the opportunity to be in the shoes of more than one character.

Split Down the Middle

This activity aims to teach students the benefits of using the tool of “ladder of inference” through role-play in order to gain a better understanding of the way we think, draw conclusions and perceive different issues in our lives and in the world. The activity focuses on the central conflict in the short story “The Split Cherry Tree” by Jesse Stuart; The conflict between two opposing worldviews: traditionalism and modernism. Each one of the main characters represents a different worldview. The conflict in the story resolves when one of the characters listens, understands, and uses persuasion skills while the other inquires, listens, and shows openness to understand and to change.

Through the Other’s Eyeglass

Using the text, The Treasure of Lemon Brown, Students practice the three skills (listening, acknowledgment, and inquiry), and then they role-play the characters in order to bring the conflict between them into life. Students who play each character are going to try to understand the other’s point of view and eventually get to a resolution.

Who Made this Mess?

An Inquiry and Opinion activity using The Cat in the Hat. For small groups of 4th – 6th grade English Speakers, this is an activity to practice the Negotiation Skill of Inquiry and the English language skill of Oral Proficiency / Social Interaction, specifically, Expressing an Opinion. I will use the PATHWAYS Vocabulary Sentence Stems for inquiry and expressing an opinion, and a classic, rhyming children’s book.

Getting to the Bottom of Things

Using a “four corners” activity, we learn why we each hold our own positions on statements and discuss them using vocabulary that can help us make inquiry, acknowledgement, and advocacy statements. The activity starts off generic and is then used to help review All My Sons. (This activity can be adapted to be used for any literary piece where characters have conflicts with one another, or it can be done without the literature component as a speaking activity using generic controversial topics.)

Developing Empathy in the Victorian Age

The focus of the activity is developing empathy through role plays connected to George Eliot's poem entitled Count That Day Lost. Emphasis will be placed upon the hot topic of women’s position in Victorian England by shedding light upon specific vocabulary items.

To Leave or Not to Leave, That is the Question!

This is a follow up activity after studying the short story Eveline by James Joyce. Based on the Seven Elements of Negotiation and Pathways sentence stems (inquiry, acknowledgement and advocacy), students are asked to create scenes between Eveline, Frank and Eveline’s father to discuss and resolve their conflicts.

The Protagonist and Antagonist Meet at a Bar

Students explore key scenes in texts by recreating encounters between the main characters and looking at different viewpoints. Students learn and implement key concepts of conflict negotiation in simulating these encounters.