Love Triangle Characterization Activity

Love triangle cover.jpg
Love triangle cover.jpg

Love Triangle Characterization Activity

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This listing is for a sample lesson sequence from The Big Book of Characterization (sold separately). The full book contains over 100 pages of lessons centered around the literary element characterization but also has students analyzing a bunch of different literary elements and techniques while targeting reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These are great activities to make Characterization the entire focus of your ELA curriculum! So, if you like what you see here, check out the listing for the ENTIRE BOOK!

"Love Triangle"

To assess the motif of the “love triangle” in a piece of literature and its effects upon literary elements

To develop criteria for analyzing character
To assess comprehension of character development across a text
To support analysis with textual evidence
To assess how character interaction affects literary elements
To synthesize findings and present them to a group
To write from the perspective of a character

Common Core Standards
R1-3, 6, 10, 11/ W1-4, 10-11/ SL 1, 4, 6/ L1-3

Oftentimes, a story involves three characters that are in love with one another (or pursue one another) at different points in the plot. This is called a “love triangle” and is a common motif in stories (and sometimes this “love triangle” is quite bizarre—pun intended for the 80’s audience). In this activity, students will consider the “love triangle” of a piece of literature that involves three characters who are in love or lust with one another in varying combinations. For example, one of the most popular “love triangles” in recent pop culture is that of Bella, Edward, and Jacob in the Twilight series. At different points, Bella shows feelings for both Edward and Jacob who, in turn, show feelings for her. As with the Twilight series, the “love triangle” propels the plot by creating tension and conflict in the story and by forcing the protagonist to make decisions. In the case of Twilight, Bella is forced to choose between Edward and Jacob, which causes her character to become conflicted at different points in the story and also to confront feelings of jealousy and rejection.

In the “Love Triangle” Activity, students will consider the “love triangle” in a piece of literature in order to assess the dynamics of the relationships among the three characters involved. They will also consider how the “love triangle” motif affects other literary elements in the story such as conflict, plot, and characterization. 

In the first follow-up activity, the “Love Triangle” Group Presentation, students focus upon a single literary element and determine how the “love triangle” affects that element in the story. Students are then to present their findings to the class using textual evidence. In the Exploratory Activity, the “Love Triangle” Poem, students write from the perspective of one of the characters involved in the “love triangle” in order to further explore the dynamics of these relationships. Finally, in the Synthesis Activity, students are to write an analytical paragraph reflecting upon how the “love triangle” motif affects the story. The “love triangle” in a piece of literature enables students to analyze character traits by making observations of the character in a tense situation.