Learning Description

Students will use drama to analyze characters in the text A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon. Students will examine the internal and external traits of the main character, and then take on roles of characters in the story and engage in a role drama presenting possible solutions for the central problem of the story. Students will then independently write their own endings to the story, and those will be shared and discussed.  


Learning Targets


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"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can identify adjectives to describe a character
  • I can become a character and suggest a solution to a problem in a story

Essential Questions

  • How can drama be used to analyze the characters in a text and how their actions contribute to the sequence of events?


Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 2:ELAGSE2RL3: Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges. 

ELAGSE2RL5: Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action. 

ELAGSE2RL6: Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.

Arts Standards

Grade 2: TAES2.3: Acting by developing, communicating, and sustaining roles within a variety of situations and environments.


South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 2:2.RI.5: Determine meaning and develop logical interpretations by making predictions, inferring, drawing conclusions, analyzing,synthesizing, providing evidence, and investigating multiple interpretations.

2.RL.8: Analyze characters, settings, events, and ideas as they develop and interact within a particular context.

Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 1: I can create scenes and write scripts using story elements and structure.

Anchor Standard 3: I can act in improvised scenes and written scripts.


Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

  • Character – A person, or an animal or object that has human qualities, in a story.
  • Problem – The difficult or challenging situation in a story.
  • Solution – A way to fix or solve a problem.

Arts Vocabulary

  • Statue – An actor in a frozen pose.
  • Storytelling - Conveying events in words and images, often by improvisation or embellishment.
  • Character - A personality or role an actor/actress recreates.
  • Facial Expression - Use of the facial muscles to convey emotion and communicate the feelings and thoughts of the characters to the audience.



  • Anchor Chart Paper 
  • Markers 
  • Lined notebook paper 
  • Pencils
  • A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon


Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

Warm-Up: Character Statues 

  • Have students spread out in the space  
  • Instruct students to freeze when the signal (tap of drum, clap of hands, or ‘Freeze”) is given, and to unfreeze on a corresponding signal (two taps, two claps, or “Unfreeze” or “Relax”) 
  • Give character prompts for students to create a Statues (E.g.,  “A happy clown juggling” “A baseball player catching a fly ball”, “An angry principal”, “A movie star signing autographs”, “Abraham Lincoln making a speech,” “Cinderella trying on the slipper”).


Work Session

Main Activity Scaffolding 

  • Explain that the lesson will explore the characters and problem in A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon, through several drama strategies.
  • Read the book to “’No, thank you,’ sighed Camilla.  What she really wanted was a nice plate of lima beans, but she had been laughed at enough for one day.”
  • “Role on the Wall” Strategy”: On anchor chart paper, draw an outline of a human figure. Have students suggest adjectives to describe the main character’s internal feelings and characteristics.  Write, or have student volunteers write, those words and phrases inside the outline.  Have students suggest adjectives used to describe the character’s external appearance.  Write, or have student volunteers write those words and phrases outside the outline.
  • Lead the students in enacting Camilla talking about her internal feelings and external appearance.  Have the students repeat, in a Camilla voice, “When people look at me, they see someone who is ----, -----, and ------; but inside, I’m actually very --------, ---------, and ---------.”
  • Read the book to “’What are we going to do?’ cried Mrs. Cream.  ‘It just keeps getting worse and worse!’  She began to sob.” 
  • Have students choose someone in Camilla’s life.  It can be a character mentioned in the story (e.g., Dr. Bumble, Mr. Harms, Dr. Grop, Dr. Sponge, Dr. Cricket, Dr. Young, Dr. Gourd, Dr. Mellon, psychologist, allergist, herbalist, nutritionist, psychic, medicine man, guru, veterinarian, the environmental therapist), a character depicted in the illustrations (classmate, reporter, police officer, tattoo artist, onlooker), or some other character who would likely be in Camilla’s life (cousin, grandparent, neighbor, teacher, etc.).  It should not be Mr. or Mrs. Cream
  • Ask students to sit at their desk and “quick write” in the role of the character they are developing.  Provide several prompts: name, age, relationship to Camilla, 2-3 character traits (e.g., bossy, smart, shy, grumpy, nervous, fun-loving, etc.) 
  • Have students explore the space walking like their character and interacting with others as their character.
  • Have students sit down at desks or in a circle.  
  • Announce that there is going to be a town meeting to help Camilla.
  • Assume the role of Camilla's mother or father, express despair at Camilla’s condition, and ask for advice and guidance from the various people in Camilla’s life about what to do.  (Be prepared with ideas, in case students do not bring many forth, e.g., send Camilla away, give her a 24-hour bath, set her out in the sun, don’t let anyone talk to her, etc.).  Have students make their suggestions in character.  Discuss what might happen with each idea, and discuss the pros and cons.  Thank everyone for their suggestions and conclude the role play.
  • Have students return to their seats and write their new endings to the story, choosing one of the suggestions from the town meeting, and describing how it would play out.
  • Conclude the reading of the story.


Closing Reflection

  • Have students pair share, and have volunteers share out as a class.  Discuss how the new endings compare and contrast with the actual ending of the story.
  • Discuss Camilla’s transformation from the beginning to the end of the story.




  • Students use their bodies expressively to convey the character statues.
  • Students provide a wide array of interesting and appropriate adjectives for the “Role on a Wall.”
  • Students assume characters and respond appropriately within the Role Drama.



Students’ story endings reflect the ideas shared in the Role Drama and bring the story to a logical conclusion accordingly.




  • Have students further revise, illustrate and publish their new ending.
  • Have students get in small groups and dramatize one of their new endings.



  • Model a character from the story suggesting a solution to the problem, and discuss how that might play out in a new ending to the story.
  • Give students a limited list of characters to  enact (perhaps: friend, cousin, teacher, grandparent, police officer).

 *This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

Ideas contributed by: Jessica Rosa and updated by Barry Stewart Mann.

Revised and copyright:  August 2022 @ ArtsNOW