Teaching Characterization with The Cay

There is more to teaching characterization than just having students name character traits.  Another important characterization skill for students is to recognize how a character changes over the course of a novel.


The Cay, by Theodore Taylor, is a great novel for teaching this characterization skill. The main character, Phillip, matures and undergoes many changes in his outlook during the time span of The Cay.



Using a timeline, students can chart changes in Phillip’s character from the beginning, where he is a carefree kid living with his parents on the busy island of Curacao, to the ending, where he has just been rescued after surviving for months on a tiny uncharted island.


Here is a free timeline that you can use to have students illustrate the changes in Phillip’s character.



The Cay - Characterization Timeline Free



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