South Orangetown Central School District

AP English class

Students in Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition are combining math and English to create graphs featuring literary and real-life characters.

TZHS English Team Leader and 6-12 Instructional Literacy Coach Mark Stanford introduced the project earlier this week and explained how students should graph characters they have studied this school year into four quadrants based on their personalities. “We spend weeks looking at some amazing works of literature on their individual merits. This activity is a great way for students to be creative and recognize the ways that characters from different works and different settings are both alike and different,” said Stanford. “Listening to their thought process and seeing their thought process and seeing their graphs evolve as they begin to plot literary and real-life characters is just the next step toward understanding how the link between literature and life is truly timeless and worth exploring.”

Students worked in groups to create graphs that included characters from books they have studied including “Pride and Prejudice,” “Wuthering Heights” and “Crime and Punishment” along with characters from popular movies and TV shows. Stanford explained that to enhance the interdisciplinary aspect of the activity, each group had to define the x and y axes, appropriately plot the characters and label the four quadrants in the graph. After deciding where each character belonged on the graph, students had to give a brief explanation as to why they put certain characters into categories such as heroes, underdogs, masterminds, pessimists and optimists.