Characters are a big part of what makes reading fun. We connect to characters - whether we love them or hate them. We want to see what decisions they will make and how their relationships will evolve. We want to see how their lives will end up. Teachers are always on the hunt for engaging and meaningful assignments that will help their students to better understand the characters that they are reading about. Creating a values-based report card for a character is a method that can be applied to any character in any text.
First, you must come up with a list of values. This list might be generated by the teacher or by the students. Each student might be working with the same list of values, or they might have different lists. Then the student must assign a grade and a comment to each of those values, similar to what they would see on a report card. You might even want to use the report card that your school uses as a template for your character report cards. Students are required to think critically about characters, and they are also working on using strong vocabulary.
Here are some possible examples of character report cards - what grades and comments would you leave for the following characters?
Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Gilbert Grape (What's Eating Gilbert Grape?)
Gregor Samsa (The Metamorphosis)
Auggie Pullman (Wonder)
Food for thought... what grades would you give to these characters and why? Which characters would you like to grade?