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        Nanavi, A Girl from Benin, West Africa | Wide Angle: Time for School

        In this lesson plan, students use a chart to track character development and write a statement to express the ways in which a particular young girl from West Africa has changed over a three year time span. Check out the entire collection of resources from the documentary "Time For School" here.

        Lesson Summary


        Students see how Nanavi's life changes from 2003 when she was nine years old to 2006 when she is twelve years old. They use information from two video segments to complete a chart, then write a statement to express the ways Nanavi changed. 

        Why is this an important concept?

        Recognizing the ways in which characters change and develop throughout a story is one way students are able to respond and react to literature. Identifying ways characters change helps students understand character motivation, plot and other literary elements. 

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        Suggested Time


        Media Resources


        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Photocopy and distribute the Character Development chart. Describe the purpose of the lesson, which is to note how characters change and develop throughout a story.

        2. With students' input, complete Column I on an enlarged version of the handout by determining what types of changes a character might experience (i.e., physical, emotional, family situation, motivation, goals, intellectual, etc.). Leave one row blank for students to use after watching the video. Students copy Column I on their charts.

        3. Before watching the first segment, ask students to pay attention to details of what Nanavi's life was like in 2003. While watching the video, students should take notes in Column II of the handout.

        4. Discuss what students wrote in Column II. Fill in the enlarged handout with their responses. Play the video a second time if necessary.

        5. Play the second segment. Ask students to watch for ways Nanavi changed since 2003 and fill in Column III of the handout. If students note another type of change, they may also fill in the last item in Column I and complete the handout. Also, students may note ways in which Nanavi did not change.

        6. Discuss what students wrote in Column III, in what ways Nanavi changed, what caused these changes, in what ways Nanavi did not change, and what they predict might happen to Nanavi in the future. Fill in Column III on an enlarged handout.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:
        • Review note-taking strategies and skills.
        • Provide writing assistance for note-taking during the video and the writing of the paragraph as needed.
        • Provide the opportunity for students to watch segments again if needed.

        Part II: Assessment

        Independently, students will write brief responses on the bottom of the Character Development chart describing how Nanavi changed and how these changes might affect her in the future. Accept as satisfactory if students have completed the handout and their paragraph accurately and their responses logically follow the information in the video segments.


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