Characters and Consequences | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M2B:U2:L1

Characters and Consequences

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout the text (including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot). (RL.8.2)
  • I can analyze how specific dialogue or incidents in a plot propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. (RL.8.3)

Supporting Targets

  • I can analyze how specific events create consequences that propel the action of the play.
  • I can analyze how specific dialogue reveals aspects of a character.
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text.

Ongoing Assessment

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream structured notes, 3.2.90-123 (Unit 1, Lesson 17 homework)
  • Consequences flow chart


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

     A.  Engaging the Reader: Partners Share Focus Question from Homework and Reviewing Learning Targets(5 minutes)

     B.  Vocabulary Activity: I Have/Who Has (10 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Drama Circle: 3.2.124-365 (17 minutes)

     B.  Written Conversations between Discussion Partners (8 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Adding to the Consequences Flow Chart (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Reread 3.2.124-365 and complete the structured notes.

  • Students continue to perform and read in the Drama Circle and use the Written Conversation protocol to bolster their comprehension of how the dialogue in a scene reveals aspects of the characters involved. After working with different protocols (besides whole group or partnered discussion) toward the end of Unit 1, students now use the Written Conversation to conduct a nearly completely independent discussion about the text. The discussion question is open-ended; students' Written Conversations will differ greatly. Consider collecting the Written Conversation note-catchers to gain insight into students' comprehension of the scene and ability to use dialogue as a way to analyze character.
  • In Work Time B, students use all the vocabulary words from Unit 1 in an I Have/Who Has activity. This activity is fun and interactive, and lets students learn from one another as they work with vocabulary words, rather than relying just on written definitions. I Have/Who Has is a whole class activity in which students refer to their structured notes from Unit 1, Lesson 9-17 to review the definitions of the vocabulary words they have defined so far.  The first student reads, "Who Has___ (a definition)?" another student in the room responds with "I have (the correct word)" and then reads the prompt: "Who has __?" Then, the student holding the correct word announces it, and the process repeats. This way, the class works together to review the definitions of each of the vocabulary words from Unit 1, reviewing important vocabulary from the play.
  • In advance: Cut I Have/Who Has document into strips.
  • Post: Learning targets.


propel, aspects; derision (3.2.125), conjure (3.2.161), chide (3.2.223), bashfulness (3.2.301), hinders (3.2.334)


  • Consequences flow chart (from Unit 1, Lesson 17; one per student)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream structured notes, from Unit 1, Lessons 9-17 (students' completed copies)  
  • I Have/Who Has sentence strips (one per student; cut up in advance; see Teaching Notes)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (book; one per student)
  • Written Conversation note-catcher (one per student)
  • Consequences Flow Chart anchor chart (new; teacher-created)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream structured notes, 3.2.124-365 (one per student)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream supported structured notes, 3.2.124-365 (optional; for students who need additional support)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream Structured Notes Teacher's Guide, 3.2.124-365 (for teacher reference)



A. Engaging the Reader: Partners Share Focus Question from Homework and Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Ask students to take out their structured notes from Unit 1, Lesson 17 homework. Invite students to pair-share their responses to the focus question.
  • After students have discussed their responses, cold call one or two students to share what they discussed with their partners. Tell students that their thinking about Oberon and Puck's desire to control others will come in handy during this lesson, when they will read on to discover the consequences of these characters' actions.
  • Invite students to take out their Consequences flow charts. Then read the first target aloud to students:

*   "I can analyze how specific events create consequences that propel the action of the play."

  • Remind students that propel means to "push forward." Remind them that they have recorded information about characters' actions and the consequences of these actions on their Consequences flow charts. Invite students to turn and talk, referencing their flow charts as needed:

*   "What are some examples of characters' actions or events in the story that propelled the plot forward?"

  • Cold call a few students to share what they discussed.
  • Read the next learning target aloud with students:

*   "I can analyze how specific dialogue reveals aspects of a character."

  • Clarify that the word aspects means qualities or characteristics. Invite students to turn and talk:

*   "What does this target ask you to do?"

  • Cold call one or two students to share what they discussed. Clarify that this target asks students to think about how a character's words can reveal his or her personality traits. Emphasize that Shakespeare wrote each line of A Midsummer Night's Dream on purpose. The dialogue in the play not only serves to move the plot forward, but can also let the reader get to know the characters and how they are feeling.
  • Provide a brief example from a part of the play they have already read. Read aloud from Act 2, Scene 1, lines 210-211: "I am your spaniel, Demetrius,/The more you beat me I will fawn on you."
  • Note that Shakespeare's use of the word "beat" in these lines does not mean Shakespeare is saying it is acceptable to beat a dog or a person; he is using it to demonstrate how extreme the difference in feeling is between Demetrius and Helena.
  • Remind students that to "fawn on" someone means to give him or her love and affection. Ask them to turn and talk:

*   "What aspects of Helena's character does this line reveal?"

  • Listen for students to discuss Helena's lack of confidence, her loyalty to Demetrius, or her sadness in knowing he will not love her. Call on one or two volunteers to share what they discussed. Summarize by reinforcing how what the characters say in the play can say a lot about who they are and how they feel.
  • Tell students that after reading in the Drama Circle, they will focus on this target. If necessary, share that there will be an argument in the scene that may reveal some characteristics of some of the key characters in the play.
  • Read the last learning target aloud with students:

*   "I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text."

  • Explain that in the next activity, students will practice this learning target by reviewing the vocabulary words from Unit 1 in an I Have/Who Has activity.

B. Vocabulary Activity: I Have/Who Has (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to get out their A Midsummer Night's Dream structured notes, from Unit 1, Lessons 9-17. Distribute the I Have/Who Has sentence strips.  Be sure to hand out all strips, since each one relies on the strip before and after. Some students may have two strips. You may also participate. Be sure to keep a master copy of the strips to quickly help students if they get stuck or to correct them if an incorrect answer is given.
  • Ask students to make sure they know the definition of both their "I Have" and "Who Has" words by checking the vocabulary definitions in their structured notes. Students must be able to state the definition of the words without the assistance of the structured notes and determine if the responder to the "Who Has" prompt is accurate. They should put their notes away after checking their word.
  • Let students know they will participate in an I Have/Who Has vocabulary activity. Briefly review the directions:
  1. Be sure the person with the first strip on the I Have/Who Has sentence strips goes first, since the protocol will take students full circle (with this first person responding to the last person's definition)
  2. The first person to go reads the "Who has____?" on his or her strip.
  3. Students listen carefully to the definition, and the student with the corresponding vocabulary word reads, "I have _____." That student then reads his or her "Who has _____?"
  4. I Have/Who Has continues until it returns to the person who read the first definition.  
  • Before students begin, clarify directions as needed. Be sure that students understand that each strip is connected to a strip before and after. It isn't important to start at the "beginning," as the game will eventually return to the first person if done properly.
  • Begin by choosing a student to read his or her "Who has_____?" first.
  • After an initial practice round, have students swap strip and repeat the activity once more.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Drama Circle: 3.2.124-365 (17 minutes)

  • Invite students to gather in the Drama Circle. Be sure students have their text, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Ask students to turn to Act 3, Scene 2 (lines 124-365).
  • Share with students that in the beginning of Scene 2, Robin tells Oberon that Titania is in love with an ass. As Oberon and Robin observe, Hermia finds Demetrius in the forest and asks him where Lysander is. Oberon and Robin realize that there has been a mistake: Robin has used the potion on Lysander instead of Demetrius.
  • Invite students to turn and talk to refresh their memories:

*   "How did Puck make the mistake of putting the poison on Lysander's eyes instead of Demetrius'?"

  • Listen for students to remember Oberon's instructions to look for "Athenian" clothes, which both Lysander and Demetrius wear. Puck saw Lysander first and assumed he was the man Oberon wanted to influence with the love-in-waiting flower. Turn and talk:

*   "What was Helena's reaction to Lysander waking up and falling in love with her?"

  • Listen for students to describe Helena's anger at Lysander because she believed he was mocking her. Probe some students who need more support to discuss by asking:

*   "What does this say about Helena as a character?"

  • Students may discuss Helena's lack of confidence, or her skepticism at Lysander's sudden love for her. Ask:

*   "How does Oberon continue to attempt to control others once he realizes Puck has made a mistake?"

  • Listen for students to discuss how Oberon sends Puck into the woods to quickly find Demetrius. He wants to place a spell on him so he'll fall in love with Helena, as he originally intended.
  • Remind students that Oberon's desire to control Demetrius forces the world of the nobles and the world of the forest beings to collide. Ask:

*   "How do you think the interaction between the forest beings and the nobles will play out?" 

  • Listen for students to discuss how Hermia may fight with Helena since Lysander now loves her, or how Demetrius may be relieved to find that Lysander no longer loves Hermia.
  • Reinforce the idea that much of the comedy in this scene is a result of Oberon and Puck's mistake.
  • Invite students to volunteer for roles. Choose roles and remind students to read loudly and clearly, with appropriate expression. Begin the read-aloud of 2.1.195-276. Pause to discuss and clarify as needed.
  • This read-aloud builds comprehension of this scene. Consider having stronger readers complete the read-aloud while others listen and follow along.
  • Gauge your students' understanding of the text as you read aloud and consider pausing to discuss important elements, especially vocabulary and language. This will bolster students' comprehension so they can dig deeper during the Written Conversation activity in Work Time B.

B. Written Conversations between Discussion Partners (8 minutes)

  • Distribute and display the Written Conversation note-catcher. Review the directions: In a Written Conversation, students will write simultaneous notes to their partner about the reading selection, swapping them every 2 minutes for a total of two cycles and keeping quiet along the way. The point of the activity is for students to have a discussion with their partner, without talking, to capture their thoughts without being interrupted or distracted as they reflect. Students should write for the whole time allotted for each note. They may put down words, phrases, questions, connections, ideas, wonderings--anything related to the question or responding to what their partner has said, just as they would in an out-loud conversation. Spelling and grammar do not count; these are just notes.
  • Read the prompt for the Written Conversation aloud with students:

*   "What does the dialogue in 3.2.124-365 reveal about the characters? Each partner should choose particular piece of dialogue that struck you and say what it says about the character(s)."

  • As students begin their Written Conversations, circulate and clarify the directions as needed. Look for students to build on each other's responses, not just agree or disagree. As students write, quietly ask probing questions to push their thinking:

*   "Why do you think that?"

*   "How can you build on that idea?"

*   "How can you sum up what you and your partner have discussed?"

*   "Can you say more about that?"

  • After 2 minutes have passed, tell students to swap. Remind them that the second partner should respond to the first partner's thinking.
  • After 2 more minutes have passed, tell students to swap again. This time, students should read what their partner wrote and build on the conversation.
  • When 2 more minutes have passed, students should swap again, completing the first cycle. At this point, the partner should make a conclusion. Remind students that they may continue to talk about the same subject(s) during the second cycle if they feel they need to discuss further.
  • Repeat the cycle once more.
  • When reviewing the graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.
  • Providing models of expected work supports all students but especially challenged learners.
  • During Work Time B, you may want to pull a small group of students to support in finding evidence from the novel. Some students will need more guided practice before they are ready for independent work.

Closing & Assessments


A. Adding to the Consequences Flow Chart (5 minutes)

  • Remind students that they created flow charts based on the consequences of key characters' actions in A Midsummer Night's Dream. They will add to their charts today, since the reading they did in the Drama Circle reveals even more consequences of characters' desires to control others.
  • Ask students to again locate their Consequences flow charts (which they used in Opening A).
  • Tell student you would like them to add to their charts today to summarize the action from the section they read aloud in the Drama Circle. Point out Oberon's line in the Forest Beings section on the Consequences Flow Chart anchor chart. Invite students to turn and talk:

*   "How would you summarize the consequences we read about today that resulted from Oberon's desire to control others?"

  • Listen for students to discuss the repercussions of Oberon's desire to control Demetrius, especially the argument that results between the four Athenians.


HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Reread 3.2.124-365 and complete the structured notes.
  • Consider providing the supported version of the structured notes to students who need help summarizing Shakespeare's dense text and defining key vocabulary words.

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