Stargirl Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Can your students identify key characters and themes in Jerry Spinelli's 'Stargirl'? This lesson plan highlights these elements of the book with a group activity and two fact-filled text lessons.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • list and describe key characters from Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl
  • list the themes present in Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl


  • This lesson plan is designed for use with students who have read Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl.


1.5 to 2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.


Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.


Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.


  • Copies of Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • Small slips of paper labeled with each of the following: 'Leo Borlock', 'Stargirl Susan Caraway', 'A. H. (Archibald Hapwood) Archie Brubaker', 'Kevin Quinlan', 'Dori Dilson', 'Cinnamon', 'Hillari Kimble' and 'Wayne Parr'
  • Paper copies of the text lesson Stargirl Characters Analysis, one for each student
  • Paper copies of the text lesson Stargirl Themes, one for each student
  • A worksheet created using the Characters quiz and the Themes quiz from the associated text lessons, one for each student

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