Once students have decided what they need to write about, they often have a hard time actually developing the material to include in the essay. For this reason, this lesson focuses on helping young learners discuss ideas about various characters which they can later use to help them write their essay. Students develop these using an interview format with each student taking the role of one of the main characters from a short story or book. This exercise not only helps students develop ideas for their essay, but it also encourages communication in the class room and team work.
Aim: Developing character analysis for an essay
Activity: Interview activity
Level: Young Learners - upper intermediate
- Choose a short story or book which will be the basis of individual essays, or essays written in small groups.
- Put a list of the main characters on the board and have an equal number of students take on the role of each of these charters.
- Give students the handout with interview questions to fill in. Students will need a while to finish the interview sheet (you might want to introduce this lesson over two lessons with students preparing the interview sheet for homework).
- Create small groups of students with one student per character. Have students interview each other about the questions, encourage the students to ask for further explanation.
Example: - What is your favorite hobby?
- Why do you like tennis so much?
- I like the individual nature of the game.
- Have students take notes of other students' responses for a follow-up class session.
- Do a class session talking about the variety of responses, write down a broad selection of answers to later photocopy and give to the students to be used as notes when writing an essay.
Answer the following questions imaging that you are a character from a short story or book you have read. Write what you think your character would say:
- What kind of music do you like?
- Are you married? If so, how long have you been married? Do you like being married? If you are single, do you like being single?
- What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?
- What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?
- Who is your favorite person? Why is he / she your favorite person?
- Where do you like to go to relax? Why do you like to go there?
- How would you describe yourself?
- Do you have many friends? Why?
- If you could be anything in the world, what would you like to be?
- What hobbies do you have? Why do you like them?
- What is the best thing about life?
- What is the worst thing about life?
- Why do you do what you do in life?
- Do you believe in a God? What do you believe?
- What would you like to change in the world?
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