Lesson 1: Analyzing Relationships
- Learning Goal
- Analyze character relationships.
- Approximately 2 Days (40-45 minutes for each class)
- Necessary Materials
- Provided: Sample Relationship Chart (Save this chart for use with Lesson 5), Relationship Roster (Student Packet, page 12)
Not Provided: Photo of a friend or a family member or a photo of a relationship cut-out from a magazine, chart paper, markers, Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes by Louis Sachar
Before the Lesson
Read Chapters 3-8; Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapters 3-8; A photograph of a friend or family member
Activation & Motivation
Have students sit in a circle and share the photographs they brought in of a friend or family member. Each student should answer the following questions: Who is this relationship with? How are you alike or different? How do you both feel about each other? Why do you and this person need each other? Describe the relationship. Is it positive or negative? Both? Explain.
After each student has had a chance to present his or her photograph, engage the class in a discussion about relationships. Ask: "What do relationships have in common? How are they different? What purpose do relationships serve in our lives?" Note: Students will need their photographs for Lesson 5. You may want to collect the photographs and keep them in a safe place or instruct students to bring them back to class for Lesson 5.
will explain that it is important to examine relationships in a work of Realistic Fiction. Evaluating the features or details of a relationship helps readers to connect with characters, understand the plot, and predict what will happen later in the story. I will think about the relationships Gary has with other characters in Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes, including his parents, his teachers, Angeline, Joe, Ira Feldman, Abel Persopolis, Mr. Bone, and the various kids at school. These relationships are both positive and negative. Each relationship can be examined to learn more about the story and its characters. First, I will examine the relationship between Gary and Angeline, by answering the questions on my Relationship Chart. Note: See Sample Relationship Chart for a sample chart. Recreate this chart on chart paper or the board as you teach the lesson, recording answers to each question.
On my Relationship Chart I will record the answers to the following questions:
Who is this relationship between? Gary and Angeline. How are the characters alike and different? Gary is a joker and not such a good student; Angeline is more serious and very smart. Both are friendly, nice to each other, and love to laugh.
How do the characters feel about each other? Gary and Angeline are great friends. They like each other and enjoy spending time together. Gary likes it when Angeline laughs at his jokes; Angeline thinks Gary is the funniest person.
Why do the characters need each other? Gary needs Angeline because she is his only true friend and she laughs at his jokes; Angeline needs Gary because he is her good friend and she looks up to him.
Describe the relationship. Is it positive or negative? Both? Explain. This relationship is positive because the two are friends and Angeline is supportive of Gary.
Ask: "How can I understand the relationships between characters?" Students should respond that you can identify who the relationship is between, how the characters are alike and different, how the characters feel about each other, why the characters need each other, and if the relationship is a positive or negative one (or both).
will analyze the relationship between Gary and his parents. We will answer the questions about the relationship on the Relationship Chart that we started during the Direct Teaching. Note: See Sample Relationship Chart for a sample chart. Save this chart for use with Lesson 5.
Who is this relationship between? Gary and his parents.
How are the characters alike and different? Gary and his parents are alike because they look alike and they are in the same family. The characters are different because Gary likes to joke around and laugh, but his parents are serious and don’t want to hear jokes all the time.
How do the characters feel about each other? Gary and his parents love each other, but his parents wish he wouldn’t joke around so much and focus more on his schoolwork.
Why do the characters need each other? Garyneeds his parents because he is still a kid. He needs his parents’ help and support to do his schoolwork and become a responsible kid. The parents need Gary because he is their child and to show them how to loosen up a little and see the lighter side of life.
Describe the relationship. Is it positive or negative? Both? Explain. The relationship is both positive and negative. It’s positive because his parents are trying to teach Gary how to be more responsible. It is also negative because his parents are not supportive of his jokes and comedy act. and they tend to put him down because of it.
will choose one of the following relationships to analyze: Gary and his teachers; Gary and Joe; Gary and Ira Feldman; Gary and Abel Persopolis; or Gary and Mr. Bone.
You will answer the following questions about the relationship you chose to analyze: Who is this relationship between? How are the characters alike and different? How do the characters feel about each other? Why do the characters need each other? Describe the relationship. Is it positive or negative? Both? Explain.
You will record your answers to the questions about the relationship you chose on the Relationship Roster in your Student Packet. (See page 12 in the Student Packet.)
will come together as a class to share information about the relationship we have analyzed. We will read aloud all of our answers to the questions and discuss the relationships in the book so far. For each relationship, will ask ourselves the following questions: Why is this relationship important to the story? Will this relationship change in the future? Why? How?
(To see all of the ReadWorks lessons aligned to your standards, click here.)
Build Student Vocabulary scornfully
|Tier 2 Word: scornfully|
|Contextualize the word as it is used in the story||Matt, Paul, Brenda, and Gary are talking about the talent show when Matt says, ‘Ooooh,’ as if there were something going on between Brenda and Gary. “Brenda looked scornfully at them. ‘Get real,’ she said.”|
|Explain the meaning student-friendly definition)||Scorn means a strong feeling of dislike or hatred for somebody or something. When Brenda looked at the boys scornfully, that means she looked down on them with a strong feeling of hatred.|
|Students repeat the word||Say the word scornfully with me: scornfully|
|Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts||When I see someone cut in line at the movies, I always give them a scornful glare. I hope they know that’s a bad thing to do! Even though I’ve tried to make friends with the new student, he always treats me scornfully. He rolls his eyes when I raise my hand in class, and he always tells me my jokes are stupid.|
|Students provide examples||What would you do if someone treated you scornfully? Start by saying, “If someone treated me scornfully, I would ____________________________.”|
|Students repeat the word again.||What word are we talking about? scornfully|
|Additional Vocabulary Words||hysterics, astrophysics, segue, huddled, cannibals, appreciated|