SPACES Project: Stuffed Pet Animal Characterization Experience for Students

By Albertia A. Burgess, English, West Charlotte High School

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


While characterization is explored in English Language Arts classes, the way this topic is investigated can become predictable, bland, and overall ineffective for learners of all types. The fact is, the presentation and understanding of textual subjects becomes increasingly complex as the rigor of the coursework increases. Students who struggle with the basics of characterization stand at the forefront of continued academic issues in this area and many related areas. Characterization is not only helpful in aiding readers in understand the motivations, interactions, and behaviors of the characters in a text, but it also serves as a profound way for readers to gain insight on themselves, peers, and others in their lives. So, despite the complexity associated with the task, the ability to analyze, investigate, and make determinations about the subjects of a text is a critical and necessary skill for all students. The purpose of the SPACES (Stuffed Pet Animal Characterization Experience for Students) Project is to afford students an opportunity to gain, refine, and prove knowledge of basic characterization skills through an elaborative investigation of human-animal interaction and companionship. This project is an ideal choice for students because it offers seamless scaffolding and differentiation.