Of Mice and Men - Character Webs

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Related Lessons

Download "Character Webs" as a Word file (49KB)

Discipline 

History, Language Arts

Grade Level 

6-12

Type of Activity

Individual, Large Group, Ongoing, Out of seat

Objectives 

Students will develop a deeper understanding of the characters and the interconnection between the characters.

Overview

Character Webs are similar to Identity Charts. Both are graphic organizers that help students to gain a deeper understanding of the characters. The purpose of a Character Web, however, is to show the connections between characters. Character Webs can also be done autobiographically, that is; a student can create a web about him/herself.

This activity is meant to be done on an ongoing basis throughout the reading of the novel. Use this activity when discussing a new character or when new connections between characters develop.

Materials Needed/Preparation

  • Large pieces of butcher paper to post the work where students can see and interact with it
  • Brief introduction to the Character Web process
  • Copies of character web sample (optional).
  • Of Mice and Men notebooks

Estimated Time 

3-5 minutes

Procedures

  • Journal/writing topic: 
    • How are you connected to the people around you? The place you live (think both locally and globally)? How do these connections affect you? How do you affect the people and places around you?
  • Explain how a Character Web works (see example below).
  • Choose two characters and, with class participation, model how to complete the character web. If doing this activity on an on-going basis, or as a large group, single period activity, consider modeling on a large sheet of butcher paper (this can remain up throughout the unit).
    • Discuss as a class and have students volunteer what they feel are the connections between the characters.
    • It is important that students provide proof from the reading to support their ideas.
  • For a one day activity:
    • Have students work individually or in small groups to complete the character web.
    • Or continue to complete the character web as a class. Use student participation and input.
    • Each student should create a completed copy of the character web, even if done as a group activity.
    • If done individually or in small groups, allow time at the end of the class period for each group to share with the class.
    • Again, it is important that students provide proof from the reading to support their ideas.
  • For an ongoing activity:
    • Post the character web on the wall.
    • During discussions of the reading, add to the character web when important discoveries have been made. Consider allowing students to come up and do this.
    • Again, it is important that students provide proof from the reading to support their ideas.
    • Each student should create a completed copy of the character web, adding to it as the unit continues.

Post Activity/Takeaways/Follow-up

  • Post Activities
    • Ask students to predict what may happen in the novel based on what they have discovered about the characters. (Consider keeping a record of these predictions to follow-up on later.)
  • Takeaways
    • Friendship is an important theme in Of Mice and Men. What friendships are being made? Why is this important?
    • How are the relationships between characters similar to relationships the students have experienced (parent-child, friend, mentor, etc.)?
    • Students should come away from this exercise with more understanding of the characters and how they interact.
  • Follow-up
    • When appropriate, go back to student predictions to see if those predictions came true. Discuss why or why not.

Assessment

  • Are appropriate examples from the text being used?
  • Is the student developing accurate conclusions from the evidence in the text?
  • Quiz on the characters (based on the student findings in the Character Web).
    • The quiz could be to create a Character Web for a set of characters.
    • The quiz could be strictly factual (e.g. “Who does Curley pick a fight with?” and so on).
  • Points for maintaining a copy of the chart or character web.

Common Core State Standards Met

  • Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
    • Key Ideas and Details: 1, 3
    • Craft and Structure: 5
  • Speaking and Listening Standards 6-12
    • Comprehension and Collaboration: 1