OER Administrator
English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Description
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Groups
  • Narratives
  • Writing
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    A Review On Character's Self Image

    A Review On Character's Self Image


    Do other people’s perceptions of us teach us anything about ourselves? What do we hide from those around us? In this lesson, students will think about how their character’s self-image differs from what others see about him or her. Then, students will begin planning their Things Fall Apart narrative.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

    Character Traits

    • Encourage your students to think about character traits—strengths and weaknesses—rather than simply about events in the novel.
    • Try to hear at least one response from each character.
    • The work students have done to this point highlights the difference between how characters perceive themselves and how others perceive them. The narrative they will write should build on this understanding; they will need to deeply inhabit the worldview of their characters, at the same time maintaining, as writers, the distance that will allow them to critically judge their character’s motives and actions. Try to highlight this in your discussion of their responses.


    Complete the following two sentences.

    • The most important thing [my character] knows about [him- or herself] is __.
    • The most important thing others see about [my character] is __.

    Open Notebook

    Share your responses with your classmates.

    Your Character Narrative Requirements

    • Review Your Character Narrative requirements with your students. Emphasize that these will be written from the point of view of the characters they have worked with so far, and should focus on one particular moment or incident from the novel.
    • Emphasize that students will need to choose a moment that reveals something larger about their character and the themes of Achebe’s work.

    Work Time

    Review Your Character Narrative requirements with your teacher.

    • Ask any questions you have about this assignment.

    Mind Map

    • Provide chart paper and markers for this activity. Students could take a picture of their work.
    • This activity will help students review the events of the novel while selecting the moments that reveal most about their characters.
    • Encourage students to get creative, expressing themselves artistically in the mind map.
    • Remind students to be specific in their references to the text.
    • Hold a brief discussion where you highlight some of the disparities between characters’ self-perceptions and how others see them; also highlight some of the key moments in the text that turn up in more than one characters’ mind maps.

    Work Time

    Take some time with your character group to reflect on the inner and outer qualities of your character.

    • Using chart paper, create a mind map that shows what your character sees about him- or herself, and what others see about him or her.

    Be sure to refer to specific incidents and quotations from the text.

    Then share your work with your classmates and browse through their mind maps. What do you notice?

    Planning Options

    • A number of different Planning Options are provided for the brainstorming phase of this project. You might decide to let students choose which they prefer to use, or for specific students you may want to make suggestions based on what you know about their needs.
    • Emphasize the importance of taking this planning time seriously; students will not have much extra time during the planning, drafting, and revision process, and the thought they put in now will help them use the rest of their time more efficiently.
    • When appropriate, students will have the option to work independently, in pairs, or in a group. Explain that they should choose how they think they will work most effectively on any given day. If they choose to confer with a partner today, they might still work individually during the next Work Time.
      • SWD: Monitor that all SWDs are able to clearly determine how it is best to work that particular day. That is, make sure that students are not selecting to work a certain way (e.g., with a partner) and then stay with that partner throughout the process just out of comfort or habit. Discerning how to work more effectively might not be an easy task. Assist them in making the best decisions.

    Work Time

    Now that you have reviewed some of the most important qualities of your character and the events in the text that reveal those qualities, take some time to plan for your narrative.

    • Use the Planning Options on the next screen to brainstorm, collect ideas, and plan what details from the text you will use. Look through the different options and choose the ones that will work best for you.
    • You can also use your Notebook to brainstorm, map your ideas, and plan.

    Open Notebook

    You Have a Choice
    In this class, you will sometimes have a choice of how you want to complete your assignments. You can choose to complete this task independently or with a partner.

    Your Message

    • As you read through your students’ work, you will be able to get a quick sense of whether they are on track and which students might need additional support.
      • ELL: Consider grouping those that need extra help and work with them as a way of supporting them.


    What do you want readers to come away from your narrative understanding?

    • Write the message of your narrative in one or two clear sentences.

    Open Notebook

    Share this with your teacher.

    College Admission Essays

    • Students will be using these essays as models as they begin their own narratives.


    Read the sample College Admissions Essays. As you read, notice and annotate for the following things.

    • What character strengths do you notice in each narrator?
    • What weaknesses or flaws do you notice in each narrator?
    • What conflict does each narrator face, and what do they learn from these conflicts?
    • What do the writers do that you particularly like or dislike?