School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 8

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 3. Analyze and evaluate elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding and interpretation

Objective e. Analyze relationships between and among characters, setting, and events


After students have read a narrative text, direct them to a section of the text where the resolution of a cause/effect relationship is recorded. The teacher should list on four pieces of poster paper a single different cause for that final result. Place these posters in four different areas of the room. Have each student locate himself to that area of the room where is located the cause he/she believes to be correct. Each of the four groups should return to the text to find justification for his/her belief. After reviewing the text, students are allowed to revise their opinions and locate to another area. A final review will determine the correct cause or combination of causes.


Students will read a narrative text where cause/effect relationships exist. The teacher will isolate the cause/effect relationships for students. Teacher and students will work on placing each relationship in its correct sequence in the narrative. Next students will analyze the text to determine whether the relationship involved characters, setting, events, or any combination of the three. Finally students will analyze the sequence of these relationships in the text to determine if any cause/effect relationship was the cause of the following relationship or if the any cause/effect relationship works in isolation.


After reading a narrative text, students will be placed in small groups. Each student within the group will be given a teacher generated graphic organizer that will allow student to analyze relationships among characters.

Character A Relationship Support
Character B    
Character C    
Character D    

The example above requires students to analyze Character A's relationships with three other characters. Each group's organizer will require those students to analyze the relationships of a different dominant character. For example the next group will analyze Character B or C. Once groups have completed their analysis of relationships, the information should be shared with the entire class. As the information is shared the teacher will create on the board or overhead a schema of the relationships of all the narrative's characters. This will allow students to have a visual of the interplay among all characters. As an extension for advanced students they may analyze the character relationships to determine how they affect story events or setting.


After reading a narrative, the teacher should place students in small groups. Each group will be given an envelope which will contain pieces of paper with names of characters, details of setting, and story events from the narrative. Students should be instructed to return to the text and create with the manipulatives as many narrative-based relationships as possible with the information from the envelope. Students should always be able to justify the relationships with text support.

Resources for Objective 3.A.3.e:
LESSON SEEDS | Public Release Items |