Post Reading Strategy: Somebodoy-Wanted-But-So Chart
Source: Teaching as Leadership website
The Somebody-Wanted-But-So chart is a post reading technique to get students to think about the main plot points of a text. Students fill out the four-column chart as shown below. The “Somebody” column is where the character is identified. Followed by the “Wanted” category, where students describe what the character wanted in a story; this doesn’t have to be a tangible item or permission to do something, it could be an internal conflict or even something that the character may not realize that they want. Next, the “But” column is to be filled out according to what the student thinks is holding the character back from what they desire. Finally, the “So” category is completed by discussing the consequences or next move for the character. It isn’t included in the description of the activity from the link, but I would have my students find evidence (quotes) from the text as well as including a short (2-3) sentence explanation for what they wrote.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2 Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
I think this is a post-reading version of a KWL chart. I like this activity because it can be applied to the simplest or most complex texts. It can be used simply to summarize events and consequences or to analyze intricate character thoughts/motivations/desires. They will be reviewing the events of the text as well as thinking about what they mean, how they fit together, and how they progress to the next event. Students applying this strategy to more complex literature may be able to breakdown more “between the lines” types of desires/motivations that aren’t stated outright in the text. They will get practice using text to support their claims which is a requirement of the CCSS and is also a large component of AP essay writing. Another useful thing about this activity is that it is continuous. Students can go track a character and their desires all the way through a novel. They could use this as a character study or even as an outline for a paper/essay of some sort. This could also be used as a during reading activity.
Here is an example chart I made based on Lord of the Flies — SWBS