Exercise to encourage the identification of characteristics in a literary character
1) The activity begins with the students telling – without much thought – what occurs to them in connection with the following three phrases:
BROKEN GLASSES PIG’S HEAD FACE OF AN ANGEL
These three associations put them into the mood of the chapter.
2) Chapter 1 – The Sound of the Shell
The students have read half of the chapter at home. The aim of reading comprehension was fathoming the personalities of Piggy and Ralph.
In this activity, the students are to choose which of the adjectives mentioned below fittingly characterise each boy.
athletic courageous friendly self-confident
wealthy wise orphaned pessimistic
fair-haired reserved asthmatic intelligent
shy fat short-sighted careless
dreamy tall prudent realistic
This is followed by confronting other students, as they justify why they attributed the various qualities to Piggy and Ralph.
The next step is filling in a table (based on reading pages 7–19), now in groups of two or three.
Attitude towards being on an island
Attitude towards the other boy
Information about parents
The students confront their results again with other groups.
The last activity in this block is memory test – WHO SAID WHAT? (based on reading pages 7–19 again). The students work in groups.
CHECK WHO SAID WHAT Piggy Ralph
‘And this is what the cabin done.’
‘Sucks to your auntie!’
‘You can’t half swim well.’
‘So long as you don’t tell the others—‘
‘He’s a commander in the Navy.’
‘We may stay here till we die.’
The students in groups try to remember what the protagonists were talking about at the time. Then they open the book, find the sentences and check their answers.
How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives
- Attitudes and attributes
- Education techniques
Educational objective: Reading comprehension; training of activities that lead to characterising a literary character
Qualities in focus: Memory, imagination, objectivity, empathy
Target group, age of the students: 14–15 years of age
Suitable for: Czech – composition, literature
Text of the 1st chapter of Lord of the Flies
1 unit (45 minutes) plus home reading
What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?
The activities needed a great deal of concentration and memory, especially for the third task. But the students were absorbed by the work, guessing how the plot would develop. They were able to catch the main character traits of both protagonists.
The activities met my expectations, as they showed the students the importance of reading comprehension.