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Lesson Plan

Defining Moments: Charting Character Evolution in Lord of the Flies

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Defining Moments: Charting Character Evolution in Lord of the Flies

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Patricia Abel, M.A.ed

Marlton, New Jersey


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



Help students analyze characters by noting the ways in which defining moments shape personalities. In this lesson, students chart the evolution of Lord of the Flies' Jack and Ralph in order to gain perspective on how life on the island affects them. Students will chart changes, note the “direction” of their characters, support their conclusions with textual evidence, and present their findings. The strategies that students learn in this lesson will be applicable to future novels, making it a great one for improving overall critical reading. As a post-lesson assessment, teachers can also use the essay reflection directions and rubric.


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Before students graph their characters’ defining moments, they must find appropriate quotes in the book that demonstrate these moments. Morache (1987) explains, “Junior high students can be introduced to the idea of backing one's statements with evidence through a character analysis activity” (p. 61). While Lord of the Flies is often a novel read in high school, high school students can also benefit from practicing this important analysis skill. Like Morache’s activity, this character evolution lesson similarly “… encourages subjective response to literature yet requires that opinions be validated” (p. 63).

By charting moments that are supported with quotes and written explanation, students are free to draw their own conclusions but must ground their thinking in evidence. This type of analysis is crucial in sound critical reading/thinking, and practicing it in this lesson will help students interpret future novels, as well.

Further Reading

Morache, Jette. "Use of Quotes in Teaching Literature." English Journal. 76.6 (1987): 61-63.

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