Using the Kaplan model – novel studies

The Kaplan model is an excellent model to help you to add more challenge to your literacy lessons. This model was developed by Sandra Kaplan & Bette Gould with the underlying aim to develop students skills in different real life expertise areas. They looked at different experts from many disciplines and worked out which 11 traits could be adapted for students – enriching learning!

You can find out more about the different prompts via this website:

I’ve also included some great ways you can add more depth and complexity to novel or picture book studies.

  • Is every character in this story ethical? Is every event fair?
  • Look at the trends of different stories and characters. What is the same about them? What is different? Is there a pattern?
  • Examine the rules of stories for children. What makes them a story for children and why? 
  • Compare and contrast two different stories. Compare and contrast two characters in the same story.  
  • Share multiple perspectives about the story you have chosen. How would an adult like this story? An older child? A child from a different country? 
  • Study the details about the character. What makes them unique and lovable? Or hated?  Create a table that groups different traits to make a character lovable or hated? 
  • Analyze how stories have changed over time – look at fairytales, popular stories & favourite character types.
  • What else would you like to know about how to create a great character?

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