Character Pathways

This assessment works best with any narrative centered around a journey (fiction or nonfiction).  The objective is for students to collaboratively discuss the text, trace the journey through the text, choreograph specific movements related to the journey, and perform the movements to a group.

Grade Level/Age: 10th grade (15-16 years)

Curriculum Addressed: The exercise is an excellent assessment of students’ close reading and analysis skills because it is essential that students completely understand a passage from a text (content, context, diction, literary elements) in order for them to make choices in adaptation to creative movement.  

Process Goals: Collaboration, critical thinking, revision, editing, and presentation (all 10th grade ELA standards) are incorporated into this exercise.  

Materials: This activity is excellent because it can work with essentially any text focused on a journey.

Desired Understandings:  The central goal is to create a representation or interpretation of a character or person’s journey through group movement.  While it is a retelling of the narrative, students’ projects need to focus on more abstract concepts to represent elements of the journey.


  1. Students choose a character/person/thing and discuss his/her/its journey (as related to a specific text or source from the curriculum).
  2. Students chart stages of the journey through creative movement on paper.
  3. Students decide how to best physically “move” the character/person/thing through the stages of the journey.
  4. Students identify three specific traits/emotive significance from the journey.  For each trait, students assign an expressive movement to represent the trait and to communicate the trait’s significance in the journey.
  5. Students rehearse and perform the journey to a group.
  6. Closure discussion

(adapted from Alison Marshall)


Standard 1: Oral Expression and Listening

  1. Effectively operating in small and large groups to accomplish a goal requires active listening

Standard 2:  Reading for All Purposes

  1. The development of new ideas and concepts within informational and persuasive manuscripts

Standard 3:  Writing and Composition

  1. Organizational writing patterns inform or persuade an audience

Assessment:  I use our English department’s Quick Write rubric to assess students’ adaptation of the text.  If needed, I extend the assignment to include a Quick Write in which students explain their movement choices based on the central text, and then use the Quick Write rubric for evaluation.

Adaptions/Accommodations:  I expect all students to do their best in completing the assignment.  If needed, I could have students orally explain their artistic choices for clarity while assessing.