Character Thinking Tool: The Activity You’ve Always Wanted


Over the summer, we introduced you to the Theme Anticipation Guide—one of the new kids on the Scope activity block. Now, we’d like to introduce another one of our new literary elements activities: the Character Thinking Tool!


An Engaging Way to Teach Literary Characters

Like all of our new literary elements activities, the Character Thinking Tool includes higher-level thinking tasks that encourage students to make meaningful connections and help them transfer skills across texts.


What’s in the Character Thinking Tool?

Each Character Thinking Tool consists of five to seven questions that prompt students to think about their overall impressions of characters, the characters’ traits, and the ways in which authors reveal character to readers. These tasks elicit student opinions, call for text evidence to support reasoning, foster class discussion, and connect reading and writing. (Check out October’s play, The Monkey’s Paw, for an example of an in-role writing activity.) Look for the Character Thinking Tool with every Scope fiction and play.


Here’s how we recommend using the Character Thinking Tool:

What you’ll need:

Key skills:
Critical thinking; analyzing how and why characters develop over the course of a text

One class period


1. Read the play.

As a class, read Scope’s play Beware the Thunder, based on the classic Washington Irving story "Rip Van Winkle."



2. Complete the Character Thinking Tool.

After reading, give each student a copy of the Character Thinking Tool to complete independently, or project the activity and have students write their responses on their own paper.



3. Discuss responses from the Character Thinking Tool.

Have students work in pairs, small groups, or as a class to share and discuss their responses.


Let us know what you think of the Character Thinking Tool in the comments below!


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