Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Developing Characters

Bluebonnet Writing Project
Teaching Demonstration


Title of the Book: Farfallina & Marcel
Author: Holly Keller
Illustrator: Holly Keller
Publishing Information: “Green Willow Books” HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 0-06-623932-X
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.

TEKS:

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.




Procedures:
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:
http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/storymap/index.html
*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.



Reading/Writing/Drawing Connection:
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.


Discussion Protocol:

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?


Extension/Service Projects:
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.

12 comments:

Jolyn said...

Dear Rachell,
Lens 1: Describing affect for teachers and learners. Characterization is an important aspect of writing. You effectively brought out the points of characterization. You are an excellent teacher.
Lens 2: Articulating best practice.
Real Audiences, Real Purposes
Getting Students Started
Lens 3: The Texas language arts standards and benchmarks.
• §110.6. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 4.
Lens 4: Extensions and adaptations. I think I could use this type of getting to know you activity in order to display to my high school kids more information about how to develop characterization.
Lens 5: Questions arisen. What other books do you think I could use for secondary level?
I appreciate you kindness. Your students are lucky to have you in their lives.
Jolyn

Sessamalie said...

July 25, 2007

Dear Rachel,

Thank you for sharing your lesson on characterization with us. I loved the little games at the start of the lesson AND the activity with the story. Yours was a darling presentation, one that stands up to the scrutiny of the Five Lenses.

Lens 1: Describing affect for teachers and learners. We had a nice time with this lesson. You kept us engaged with the games and with a challenge when you read the book.

Lens 2: Articulating best practice. I noticed several best practices being used in your lesson. I like how you presented the information on characterization in various formats.

Lens 3: The Texas language arts standards and benchmarks. You substantiated your lesson content with the TEKS and research support.

Lens 4: Extensions and adaptations. I think I might use this activity with my ESL students. I especially think having students render a drawing of the characters in the story without looking at the pictures would be an excellent listening comprehension activity.

Lens 5: Questions arisen. I really don’t have any questions at this time. Your demonstration was so straightforward and comprehensible that I feel I will have no problem adapting it to my classroom.

Thank you again for the darling presentation.

Sincerely,
Leslie Hancock

Writers Rock! said...

Dear Rachel,


Lens 1: Describing affect for teachers and learners.
It was fun picking an adjective to describe ourselves and then to describe someone in our group. It set the stage for a fun lesson. The writing assignment was challenging.

Lens 2: Articulating best practice.
You created a relaxed learning environment. You gave us time to interact with each other. You read a book out loud. You integrated technology.
You has us write on a personal issue and we shared the stories, getting to know each other better.
Lens 3: The Texas language arts standards and benchmarks.
Thanks for listing them.
TEKS:__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___

Lens 4: Extensions and adaptations.

This could be done with characters from a novel.

Lens 5: Questions arisen
None. You did an awesome job, and it was a fun lesson.

Thank you. Dianna

Kinderbeanie :) said...

July 25, 2007

Dear Rachell,
This book is fantastic. I haven’t heard of it or read it before…WOW! Want to go and buy it today! The warm-up activity, the technology and the writing portion were very integrated. 

The Five Lenses
Lens 1: Describing affect for teachers and learners. I really appreciated the way you gave us an activity that began with “us”. It is sometimes easy to forget that when we activate prior knowledge, and allow us to begin our learning through looking at our lives, that we are helping engage the learner.
Lens 2: Articulating best practice. Integration. I loved how the lesson flowed from activity to activity seamlessly. The technology site is such a helpful tool for ESL or less experienced writers. Great use of technology!
Lens 3: The Texas language arts standards and benchmarks. Good documentation. Nice planning. Could this be cross curricular?
Lens 4: Extensions and adaptations. I like the idea of using previous writing and allowing peers to find characterizations and add more details. I like the dairy of a particular character. It allows the opportunity for more information.
Lens 5: Questions arisen. How else could you integrate technology into this activity? What could be an extension that involves speaking, listening, reading or writing? How important is it that the learners write before, during and after this activity? What was your research on this?
Great fun!
Thank you,
Joyce

Sherry said...

Dear Rachel,
Lens 1: Describing our own classmates was a good beginning; it was comfortable, put us in a good mood and prepared us to for the rest of the lesson.

Lens 2: This is a fine lesson using the writing process --teaching us how to better understand characterization, so that we can do a better job using that in our own writing.
We also shared a lot and that is another important element in making us responsible for our own learning.

Lens 3: TEKS

Lens 4: I need to do more with my higs school students to help them better understand characterization and I think I'll try a story where they have to guess something about the characters. Describing members of our group and guessing who they were was another great way to teach characterization. I may have my students do that with characters in books, maybe even have them act out or pantomime character traits and have others guess.

Lens 5: Questions--I don't really have any.
Thanks!
Sherry

remy1 said...

Dear Rachel,

Lens 1: Describing affect for teachers and learners.
Starting the class with a role-play activity is great. Empowered students to be creative.

Lens 2: Articulating best practice.
Involving the class to share their thoughts and insights is a good way to integrate the class with the lesson. In addition, getting us on the computer and create the story mapping is a good way to getting us to write.

Lens 3: The Texas language arts standards and benchmarks.
Your TEKS are well-aligned because we use a graphic organizer to analyze a character.

Len s 4: Extensions and adaptations.
Once having done the graphic mapping, then we can organize the ideas do writing.

Lens 5: Questions arisen.

I thought your demo was really good because I can use the ideas you brought out. However, with ELL I would have to be more concrete and instead of having them guest who the characters were, I think I would have to give them a little more description.

I enjoyed you demo.

Lourdes

ginny's world said...

Rachel -
I loved your lesson ! You have a great manner with the students. Getting us to think of an adjective before our name made the
lesson personal, and describing a person in the group was a fun bonding activity. We got to let her know some of the nice things we think about her, and we all learned more about each other.

Lens 2: We got to work together; read aloud; prediction; character web (loved that online web) and personal narrative writing

Lens 3 Reading and Writing TEKS

Lens 4: Interpret the story through a skit or a boardgame;
write a diary entry for a day in the life of one of the characters;
in high school, I would us it as a lesson on static vs. dynamic characters and round vs. flat characters

Lens 5: How fast do your students figure out what animals Marcel and Farfallina are ?

During the lesson, I was thinking that your students must be so happy to have you as their teacher. Great job !

Ginny

Rediesha Thompson said...

Dear Rachell,

Lens 1: Describing affect for teachers and learners.
Thank you for explaining the importance of characterization and dispelling the myth that a character can have one demeanor to describe them! You're more than radical!

Lens 2: Articulating best practice.
I loved the website. My 11th grader would really be into it!

Lens 3: The Texas language arts standards and benchmarks.
• §110.6. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 4.

Lens 4: Extensions and adaptations.
I know I could use this in my classroom. It's a small step my students and I overlook. I'm just glad that I can use technology to engage them as well!

Lens 5: Questions arisen.
None at this time!

GOOD JOB!!!

Red

knicksgrl0917 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pat huster said...

Dear Rachel,

Great lesson on characterization!

Lens 1—Affect
You have a way of putting your students at ease and allowing all to want to participate. I love listening to your voice; it’s soothing. It lends itself to characterization.

Lens 2—Best Practices
Everyone was involved in your lesson by sharing ideas and creating a graphic organizer on the computer. Invitation to write about an experience in our lives showed that all students can write and be creative.

Lens 3—TEKS
You used the TEKS related to analyzing character (traits), representing text (graphic organizers), and writing for different purposes.

Lens 4—Extensions and Adaptations
I can use this activity in my class when we read various novels and short stories. I think I will use it as an intro at the beginning of the year when we read some of our children’s books to begin characterization.

Lens 5—Questions
Do you have some suggestions on other books to share?

Thanks for a great lesson.

Pat Huster

Writing Unplugged said...

07/24/2007


Radical Rachel,

Lens 1: Describing affect for teachers and learners.
Your bubbly and laid back personality serves to create a comfortable and open classroom atmosphere. Reading the book and not showing the illustrations kept me in suspense and therefore engaged and willing to know more than if you had just shown us the pictures.

Lens 2: Articulating best practice.
You were able to incorporate teaching best practices by keeping the students actively engaged and intrinsically motivated. You kept all learners engaged because we had to pay attention and listen for the characters transformations. It prompted memories that can further writing. It gave me a deeper insight into characterization.

Lens 3: The Texas language arts standards and benchmarks
• TEKS where available and correlated to the lesson
• Objectives where directly tied to support TEKS
• Research supporting the learner objectives was presented

Lens 4: Extensions and adaptations.
All your extension ideas are wonderful and I could definitely use them in my classroom.

Lens 5: Questions arisen
None at the moment, Thanks!

I really enjoyed your presentation and appreciate the fact that you took the time to put it together. I really learned a lot from you.

Sincerely,


Sugey Villarreal

Kia said...

Dear Rachel,
Lens 1: Describing affect for teachers and learners. Thank you Rachel for using technology to help craft your lesson. Your down-to-earth teaching style was very welcoming. And the story was very enjoyable. Farfellina and Marcel was a great story to use and I also liked the way we could not see who they were until the end of story. We had to go on description.

Lens 2: Articulating best practice: All Children Can Write, Real Audiences, Real Purposes, Student Ownership and Responsibility, Getting Students Started, A Classroom of Shared Learning, Writing Across the Curriculum
Lens 3: The Texas language arts standards and benchmarks--Ditto

Lens 4: Extensions and adaptations - One thing I enjoyed about this assignment was how used graphic organizers to help students organize their information. This lesson can be done with just about any story element lesson for reading and can help develop writing.

Lens 5: none for now

Rachel, your students are blessed to have someone who cares so much about them and their learning.