I am learning to share viewpoints of texts with my peers so that I can recognise and understand how a text can be interpreted differently by different people.
- I can use my ideas and imagination to visualise characters from the text.
- I can share my opinion about characters and listen respectfully to the opinions of others.
- I can use my ideas to create a profile of a character, including their circumstances, personality and what they may look like.
- More information about how our perspective influences our interpretations of texts and characters can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Perspective.
Assign roles and act out the play, or if you have a digital subscription, play the audio recording and have students close their eyes to visualise each character as they listen. Discuss the different personalities of the characters and ask students for their views on each one. These may include:
Royce – ambitious, greedy, ruthless
Rory and Tory – whiny, spoilt, energetic
Pierre – clever, loyal, compassionate
Ask students to think about how they picture each character. Ask questions such as:
- Do they have hair? Is it straight or curly? What colour is it?
- Do they wear glasses?
- Are they tall or short? Thin or stocky?
- Do they have any defining features?
- What kind of clothes do they wear?
Tell students to consider who they would be looking for to cast in each role if they were the casting director for this play. Instruct them to prepare for a casting call by choosing three of the characters and writing a description for each one so that people can come in and audition. These descriptions should be based on what they believe the right actor should be like for each role. They should include such details as:
- Age range (e.g., 25-30)
- General description (e.g., short stocky man with no hair)
- Information about the characters and their role in the story (e.g., George is a nervous, introverted person who lives alone in a small apartment above his computer repair shop. When he comes across an alien hiding in one of his customer’s computers, he must find his confidence and quickly get to know his neighbours so they can all work together to help contain the creature before it escapes the building)
Explain to students that although some of the character information will come from the play, they should take what they know from the text and create a small back story in their minds to help them write more complete descriptions. Once students have written a casting description for each character, they choose some to share with the class to highlight the similarities and differences in their ideas. Discuss the way that stories give us information about characters, but we also use our own imaginations to fill in the gaps and this leads to us all having different views and ideas about them.