Charles: Focusing on Literacy Skills [Comparing]

Having made INTERTEXTUAL CONNECTION between this story and other texts, you are fully prepared to make INTRATEXTUAL connections by COMPARING things within the text itself.

Charles: A Focus on Literacy Skills

Charles is a short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948.  A full copy of the text can be READ HERE.  This SERIES will focus on all TEN KEY LITERACY SKILLS.  The lessons are arranged in SEQUENTIAL ORDER which builds a strong foundation before moving on to the next skill.

This series is an excellent way to BEGIN your class’s semester, ensuring everyone has a strong understanding of BASIC LITERACY SKILLS before you gradually release responsibility, asking them to put those skills into practice.

Explore other SHORT STORY LITERACY SKILLS ASSIGNMENTS for more ways to instruct your students.

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Comparing

When you compare LIKE or UNLIKE things you are identifying details in each of them.  Those details offer the reader a better understanding of the compared things.  By knowing both what it is like, and what it is not like, the reader is better able to focus and direct their thoughts.

The First Step is Deciding What to Compare

Before you can compare two things, you need to decide what you’re going to compare.  There are a number of things to choose from, and they may include – but are not limited to:

  • Characters
  • Settings
  • Actions
  • Choices
  • Appearances

When looking at Charles the first thing one should compare are the characters LAURIE and CHARLES.  By creating a GRAPHIC ORGANIZER like the one below, you can record your notes, and prepare to make informed, detailed, comparisons.

What I’m Comparing:  Two Characters

Charles

Laurie

DETAILS

EVIDENCE DETAILS EVIDENCE
Charles comes across as a tough guy who is willing to use violence He hit a boy in the stomach (59) Laurie likes be come across as a tough guy who is willing to use violence Looked ready to fight at school (3)
Charles is a rambunctious child with little regard for other peoples’ property He threw chalk (74) Laurie is a rambunctious child with little regard for other peoples’ property He knocked over his sisters milk (6)
Charles has had trouble at school He had to stay after school (40) Laurie has had trouble at school The teacher mentions this (88)
Laurie’s parents consider him to be a negative influence on their son

 

They assume Charles is a bad influence (89) Laurie’s parents consider him to be well behaved when given free reign

 

They assume Charles is a bad influence (89)

IMPORTANCE OF COMPARISON

The importance of this connection is that it shows the disconnect between what Laurie’s parents think of him, and how he actually behaves.  While Laurie’s parents consider him to be a well behaved boy who “fits in quickly” (89) the way he treats his sister, and yells at his family is evidence of his true personality.  Though both students have had “trouble getting used to school” (88), Laurie’s parents continue to assume that anything negative about Laurie must be caused by the influence of Charles.  This demonstrates that parents always think the best of their own child, regardless of evidence to the contrary.  This is problematic as it leads the parents to make excuses rather than addressing and working to change the negative behaviour that hurts others.

 

 

 

Making Your Own Comparison

Think about TWO THINGS you would like to compare from the short story.  Use the GRAPHIC ORGANIZER below to collect your thoughts, and pieces of evidence.  Once you have completed those two columns for EACH of the two items you are comparing, use the IMPORTANCE OF COMPARISON section to explain:

  • How the comparison led you to a stronger understanding about one of the following:
    • The text itself
    • The world around us
    • Something in your life
    • Another text you’ve read
    • A decision you have / will make

What I’m Comparing:

DETAILS

 

 

 

EVIDENCE

 

 

 

DETAILS

 

 

 

EVIDENCE

 

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF COMPARISON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What’s Next

Having COMPARED a number of things within the short story, it’s time to focus on considering what might be to come.  PREDICTING is used when one is making an INFERENCE about things to come in the future.


 

Resources

Charles – WhatBinderDotCom Literacy Skills – Comparing.PDF

 

 

 

 

Charles: Literacy Skills Series

CHARLES: ANNOTATING

CHARLES: DETERMINING IMPORTANCE

CHARLES: SUMMARIZING

CHARLES: VISUALIZING

CHARLES: INFERRING

CHARLES: QUESTIONING

CHARLES: CONNECTING

CHARLES: COMPARING

CHARLES: PREDICTING

CHARLES: SYNTHESIZING

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