Bluebonnet Writing Project
Title of the Book: Farfallina & Marcel
Author: Holly Keller
Illustrator: Holly Keller
Publishing Information: “Green Willow Books” HarperCollins Publishers
Suggested Grade Level: Intermediate
Goal: Students will be able to identify and understand the importance of character development within stories. Not only will they be able to identify character elements but students will apply characterization to their own writings.
Objectives: Students will listen to the story, decipher what types of characters are being presented, complete character maps within groups, and incorporate character elements into their own personal narrative.
4.10 (L): represent text information in different ways such as in outline, timeline, or graphic organizer
4.12 (H): analyze characters, including their traits, motivations, conflicts, point of view, relationships, and changes they undergo.
4.15 (C): write to inform such as to explain, describe, report, or narrate
Research Supporting this Lesson:
By using picture books, the teaching of literary elements is accessible to all students regardless of age and reading ability. The illustrations and text encourage students to connect their reading and writing experiences in the creation and revision process.
Lester Laminack supports this when he writes, "the presence of both artfully crafted language and detailed art [in picture books] provides the young reader with cues for constructing meaning" (37).
Laminack, Lester L. 1998. Volunteers Working with Young Readers. Urbana, IL: NCTE.
1. Have students come up with an adjective that starts with the same letter as their first name to describe themselves.
2. Students will then get into groups of four and introduce their new name and learn the name of others in the group. Repeat two-three times until names are remembered. Do you think that adjective is the only description of that person? Could there be more descriptions used to describe each classmate? If so what type of descriptions?
3. Pull up character map on computer to give an example of a more detailed example of character development. Discuss the elements used to describe a character.
4. After discussing the elements of a character, groups will select one member to analyze physical, personality and emotional traits. Each group will share the elements of their member with the rest of the class, while the class guesses the member.
5. Read book to class without showing any pictures. Students must listen carefully so that they can figure out what kinds of animals are being used in the story.
6. After reading discuss what types of animals the characters were and what information provided their answer. So, if those would not have been there would you have understood the character?
7. Have groups complete a character map about Farfallina or Marcel using the computer:
*Discuss the use of dialogue as a way to include character elements.
8. Have students think of a time when they grew apart from someone very special. Students will then complete a character map describing that special someone.
9. Students will then write a narrative about why or how they grew apart, while using character descriptions including dialogue.
10.Students will then share with group members. Group members will listen to see if they can get a true understanding of the characters in the story, then share their findings.
11. If time permits have students pick another person’s narrative and make an illustration based on what they read in the story.
1. Use a picture book to discuss the importance of character development within a story.
2. Write a story about a time when you felt abandoned by a special someone.
3. Draw an illustration based on another student’s narrative.
What did you learn about character development from this lesson?
What was your favorite activity from this lesson?
How will you incorporate character development into your own writing?
1. Students can create a skit including dialogue to act out their stories.
2. Students may create a board game based on the possible life of the characters.
3. Write in a diary about the day in the life of the character.
4. Have students pull out a past narrative and trade with a partner, partner will to fill out character map to show how well the author described the character, have students discuss what is good about the story and what can be added.