Name Date. Character Comparisons, Story 1

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1 Character Comparisons, Story 1 Rosa s family had moved to a new town during the summer, so when school started in the fall, Rosa was a little bit nervous, even though she had made a few friends over the summer. Her mother offered to drive her to school on the first day, but Rosa declined. She wanted to ride the bus and get a look at the other kids on her way to school. As luck would have it, she knew two girls on the bus. She had met Keisha and Patti at the local swimming pool this summer, and they called her over to sit with them. They talked on the ride in to school. They took turns trying to impress each other with stories about all the fun they had during their summer vacation. Keisha and Patti seemed to be popular with the other kids, because everyone said hi to them when they got on the bus. They also introduced Rosa to everyone. Rosa was relieved. Maybe things would get off to a good start after all. Then some children got on at the next stop, and Rosa noticed some of them were picking on a little girl with thick glasses. No one let the little girl sit with them. Someone threw her lunch out the window. Rosa couldn t believe that she wasn t crying after that treatment. Who s that? she asked Keisha and Patti. Oh, don t pay any attention to her. That s Pig. She doesn t have any friends, said Patti. Then, much to Rosa s shock, Patti made oinking noises. Rosa found out the girl s name was Peg, but everyone called her Pig. No one could explain to Rosa why they picked on Peg: they just did. As Keisha told her, someone has to be the lowest of the low. At lunch, Rosa sat at the popular kids table in the cafeteria and joked around with Keisha and Patti. It felt good to have someone to joke with. It was only the first day of school, and she already had friends popular friends! After she finished eating, Rosa went outside to play with her new friends until class started. She saw Peg leaning up against a tree, at the other end of the school, and for a moment wondered why she hadn t been in the cafeteria. Then she remembered what had happened to Peg s lunch on the bus that morning. Suddenly, Rosa felt sad. That night she baked cookies with her mother, and told her about Peg. I think I have to make a decision, Rosa said to her mother. The next morning she sat with Keisha and Patti on the school bus again. When Peg s stop came, and no one wanted to let her sit down, Rosa waved her over. There s room here, Peg. What are you doing? Patti hissed at her, but Rosa ignored her. They steal your lunch again, Peg? Rosa asked her. Peg nodded glumply. Rosa gave her a peek into her lunch box. Thought so. I packed an extra ham sandwich just in case. And some cookies. Then she turned to Keisha and Patti, who were rolling their eyes. Bullying hurts people. Her name is Peg. And she does have a friend: me.

2 Character Comparisons, Story 2 How brave are you, Thomas? asked Jack. Are you brave? Are you chicken? Thomas sensed that Jack and his friends had something dangerous planned. We re going to the factory Saturday night. Are you in or are you out? Jack said. Thomas knew what out meant. He was new in town. If he went with them, he would be one of them. If he declined, he would be branded as a wimp. But somehow, breaking and entering wasn t his idea of fun, even if it was a derelict factory. It had been closed for at least ten years, a big pile of rusting machinery and broken down buildings. We re going to take some ropes with us and do a little climbing. And some cans of paint and write our names up on the roof, Jack said. Thomas was an athletic boy. He liked to climb. There wasn t much he was afraid of, except maybe being called a wimp. He nodded. I m in, he said. Jack patted him on the back. Good man, he said. Saturday came, and Thomas got permission to spend the night at Jack s house. Jack s parents were out of town, but Thomas didn t tell that to his parents. When he got to Jack s house, the other boys were already there, playing computer games and running around. As soon as it got dark they packed some climbing ropes into a pack, together with some cans of spray paint, and walked through a big field alongside the freeway until they got to the rear of the factory. What about night watchmen? one of the boys asked. Jack shook his head. There aren t any. A guard drives by once or twice a night, but he just stops in the parking lot and looks around. He doesn t even get out of his truck. Then what are we waiting for? said Thomas. The boys crowded through a hole in the chain-link fence and trotted in the dark through twisted machines and piles of debris. Thomas wandered away from the rest of the boys and spent an hour exploring the factory. It wasn t hard to keep track of the others: he could hear their shouts and laughter clear across the factory. Suddenly, he heard a crash and someone yelling. He ran across the building. In the moonlight, he could see the gang of boys looking at someone on the ground. What happened? Thomas said. He was shocked to see the boy on the ground was Jack. The other boys looked frightened. This machine tipped over on top of Jack. His leg is stuck. I think it s broken! We have to get it off of him, Thomas said. But the boys had other ideas. I m out of here, one said. He disappeared into the shadows, and the rest followed him. Wussies, Thomas said. I ll get you out of here, Jack, he said. He used a steel rod to lever the machine off Jack s leg, and then helped Jack hobble to the street, where Thomas called an ambulance. Jack protested, saying they would get into trouble. Maybe we will, Thomas said, but you have to go to the hospital. Then Thomas called his father. Dad, he said, I have something to confess

3 Comparison Charts Use the charts to compare Rosa and Thomas. Rosa Is Rosa new in town? Thomas Is Thomas new in town? Does Rosa want to be popular? Does Thomas want to be popular? Does Rosa discuss her situation with her parents? Does Thomas discuss his situation with his parents? Does Rosa succumb to peer pressure? Does Thomas succumb to peer pressure? Does Rosa do something brave? Does Thomas do something brave? What consequences will Rosa face for her decision? What consequences will Thomas face for his decision? Would she make a good friend? Why? Would he make a good friend? Why?

4 Now compare the other people in the story. Rosa Are the other children friendly to Rosa? Thomas Are the other children friendly to Thomas? Do the other children behave responsibly? Do the other children behave responsibly? Do you approve of the behavior of the other children? Do you approve of the behavior of the other children? Which of the children in the story would you like to have as a friend? Which of the children in the story would you like to have as a friend? Does Rosa change her opinion of her friends? Does Thomas change his opinion of his friends? Do you think Rosa s parents have taught her to be brave? Do you think Thomas parents have taught him to be brave?

5 Comparison Outline Use the information from your charts to write a compare/contrast response using this outline. Fill in the blanks with your information. 1. Desiring popularity Rosa Thomas 2. Friends Rosa her friends. Thomas his friends. 3. Responsibility For Rosa, responsibility for her actions is For Thomas, responsibility for his actions is 4. Relationship with parents Rosa Thomas 5. Courage Rosa shows courage by Thomas shows courage by Short Writing Use what you have read to write a short paragraph on how Rosa or Thomas (or both) is (or fails to be) brave.

6 Answer Key Are they new in town? Rosa: Yes Thomas: Yes Do they want to be popular? Rosa: Yes Thomas: Yes Do they discuss their situation with their parents? Rosa: Yes Thomas: No. Do they succumb to peer pressure? Rosa: No Thomas: Yes Do they do something brave? Rosa: Yes, she defends Peg and befriends her. Thomas: Yes, he cares for Jack when he gets hurt. What consequences will they face for their actions? Rosa: She might lose her other friends, but she will have Peg as a friend, and she will have self-respect. Thomas: He might get in trouble for entering the old factory, but he will have self-respect, and probably the respect of his friends, at least Jack. Would they make a good friend? Rosa: Yes, she is brave and considerate of others. Thomas: Yes, he doesn t abandon a friend in a time of need. Are the other children friendly to them? Rosa: Yes. Thomas: Somewhat. They include him in their gang, but they pressure him to do something dangerous, and then they run away when there is an accident. Do the other children behave responsibly? Rosa: No, they are cruel to Peg. Thomas: No, they break and enter, they vandalize, and they run away when there is an accident. Do you approve of the behavior of the other children? Rosa: No Thomas: No Which of the children in the story would you like to have as a friend? Rosa: Answers may vary. Most likely: Rosa, Peg Thomas: Answers may vary. Most likely: Thomas, Jack. Do they change their opinion of their friends? Rosa: Yes. Thomas: Yes. Do you think their parents taught them to be brave? Rosa: Yes, probably Thomas: May vary. No Thomas succumbed to peer pressure. Yes He stuck by Jack.

7 Outline 1. Desiring popularity Rosa wants to be popular, but not at all costs. Thomas wants to be popular. 2. Friends Rosa defends her friends. Thomas goes along with and is loyal to his friends. 3. Responsibility For Rosa, responsibility for her actions is a high priority. For Thomas, responsibility for his actions is something he ultimately learns. 4. Relationship with parents Rosa discusses her problems with her mother. Thomas initially lies to his parents but then confesses. 5. Courage Rosa shows courage by standing up to peer pressure and defending Peg. Thomas shows courage by staying with his friend and getting him to a hospital, even though it means he might get into trouble. Short Writing Answers will vary. One possibility is: Rosa is new in school and wants to be popular. Rosa shows bravery by deciding to do what she knows is right defend Peg from bullying despite peer pressure to bully Meg, even though she knows she risks losing her popular friends. For Rosa, doing the right thing is more important than being popular, and she shows bravery by standing up for her principles, and for Peg. At first, Thomas does not show bravery. He confuses risk-taking and doing dangerous things (climbing around the abandoned factory) with bravery. In fact, he shows a lack of bravery by succumbing to peer pressure to go to the factory with his friends. He shows a lack of bravery a second time by not being open with his parents about the fact that Jim's parents would not be home when he spent the night at Jim's house. At the end of the story, however, Thomas finally shows bravery, first by helping Jim after the other boys run away, and second by confessing to his father what he had done.

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