The English Classroom

A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR PRESERVICE AND GRADUATE TEACHERS

Values and Attitudes in The Fault in Our Stars


The Situation

You are teaching The Fault in Our Stars, specifically, the first chapter.

The Solution

The Fault in Our Stars is an exceptionally popular young adult fiction about Hazel Lancaster, who has thyroid cancer. Her mother, represented as an overbearing parent thrives to get Hazel socialising again. When we meeting Hazel in the first chapter, we see her attend a support group for other patients. We also meet the enigmatic Augustus Waters.

Before jumping into The Fault in Our Stars, you need to carefully unpack the terminology around values and attitudes. At its core, students need to understand that our beliefs have a butterfly effect on our behaviours in society. Jump over to my other post about values and attitudes to help explain to students.



The following graphic organisers can be used for students to analyse the values and attitudes along with the language choices used in the chapter to convey these idea. For example, students can identify the dialogue used to explore the attitude towards family in the chapter.

The following slide provides an example of what students need to complete. As you can see, the graphic organiser allows students to analyse with significance depth the ideas in the text.

As there are a number of aspects to the document, students need to be informed need to informed how to complete each section. Model and demonstrate quality examples of what they need to complete to be successful.




At this point in the learning, students will have finished their graphic organiser. They will have a strong understanding of the language features and values and attitudes. They are now ready to jump into writing a response using their notes from the graphic organiser.

Provides students with the following paragraph structure. The information from the graphic organiser will fit into this paragraph layout.

Prior to writing the paragraph, ask students to locate the keywords in the question you provide; I will use the following as an example: how are language techniques used to represent values of religion in The Fault In Our Stars.

Highlight to students where they will retrieve the information for the paragraph. It may seem obvious as they have spent so much time on the graphic organiser, but reviewing will cement what is expected.

And finally, you are ready to provide an example body paragraph that responds to the question. It is better to have an example already prepared that is colour coded and matches the paragraph structure you expected. It should be incredibly obvious. Show students how you came up with the response and how it accurately answers the question.

Once you have reviewed this, students are ready to write for themselves. You might like to include some sentence starters to help your students get started.

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