Objective: In the first chapter of Book 1, readers are introduced to the two main families in the novel: the Burdens and the Shimerdas. In this lesson students will examine the initial characterizations of Jim and the Shimerdas and identify the similarities and differences between the two.
1) Divide students into two groups. Assign each group one of the main characters in the first chapter: Jim and the Shimerdas. Ask each group to review the chapter and make notes about the ways that the character is portrayed. Tell them to be sure to note the character traits as well as the "facts" in the chapter.
2) Ask each group to share their findings with the rest of the class.
3) Class discussion: How are Jim and the Shimerdas similar? How are they different?
4) Homework: Write a short essay predicting the relationship between Jim and the Shimerdas in the future.
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