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Product_catalog : School : LitLink : Grade06 : The Goodness of Matt Kaizer
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Reader's Toolbox
Conflict. A conflict is a struggle between two people or things in a literary work. A story’s plot is formed around conflict. A conflict can be internal or external. A struggle that takes place between a character and some outside force—such as another character, society, or nature—is called an external conflict. A struggle that takes place within a character is called an internal conflict. As you read “The Goodness of Matt Kaizer,” decide whether the conflict in this story is external or internal.

Character. A character is a person (or sometimes an animal) who takes part in the action of a literary work. A one-dimensional character, flat character, or caricature is one who exhibits a single quality, or character trait. A three-dimensional, full, or rounded character is one who seems to have all the complex qualities of an actual human being. The main character in a story is the most important one. In this story, Matt is the main character. As you read the story, note what you learn about Matt. Use the graphic organizer to the right to keep track of each detail.

Reader's Resource
• Originally the word gang had no negative connotation. In Old English, gang simply referred to a “number of people who went around together—a group.” Today a gang can be defined in four basic ways: 1) an organized group with a leader; 2) a unified group that usually remains together during peaceful times as well as times of conflict; 3) a group whose members show unity through clothing and/or language; and 4) a group whose activities are criminal or threatening to the larger society.

• Peer pressure is the social influence a peer group exerts on its individual members as each member attempts to conform to the expectations of the group. Sometimes, members of such a social group might taunt or ridicule other members or would-be members to pressure them into certain behavior. Depending on the situation, conforming to peer pressure can have a positive or negative impact on an individual.

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readers journal
How do you react when someone dares you to do something?

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