English Language Arts/3/Reading 3.3 Determine what characters are like by what they say or do and by how the author or illustrator portrays them.
Students will analyze a character in a book they read by creating a list of words that describes or explains the character. Then they will use an online digital tool called Wordle to create 'word art' that illustrates the characters attributes.
Students will analyze a character they read about in a piece of fiction.
Studnets will use technology to artfully show their knowledge about the character.
A piece of fiction with characters that lend themselves to this activity, example Pippi Longstocking, Ramona Quimby, Harry Potter, etc.....characters with personality.
Blank paper to note take.
Anticipatory Set (Lead-in):
Show students finished piece of Wordle. World is a program that allows you to type in many words and then artfully displays the words. You can make some words larger by typing the word many times. Students choose 3 or 4 attributes of the character to display larger than the rest of the words due to their significance. Students get really excited that their reading lesson will end up with something creative and beautiful instead of a finished worksheet!
Lesson Plan Procedure:
1. Model for students how to collect information about a character during reading. Students will record details about a character like age, race, likes and dislikes. Students will also use their inference skills to dig deeper into a character's attributes. As you model discovering information about a character, also show students how to take notes about a character.
2. Note taking: I fold a piece of paper in half the long way. In the right hand column, I list the characters. In the left hand column, I write down the description/attributes of each character. As we get further along in the year, I have students write down details under their description/attributes that prove the description. For instance, in Jack and the Beanstalk, the character is Jack. One of his attributes is he is a son so under son, we write 'he takes care of his mom and his mother send him to sell a cow' as proof that he is a son.
3. After we have a list of attributes of the character, we choose the 3 attributes that are most pivotal in the story. For Jack in the Beanstalk, we would pick adventurous, clever, and brave. We also include the words son, young boy, and lived long ago.
4. Next, we go into the computer lab, sign on to www.wordle.net and click on CREATE. We type in our words and for the 3 words we want larger, we type them in 5 times each. I show students how to highlight the word, un-highlight, push return, then 'control c' to copy and 'control v" to paste 5 times. Some just types the word 5 times. Then press go to see your Wordle. Students can use the Font, Layout, and Color drop down menus to create the look they want.
5. We take screen shots of the Wordles and put them into a Power Point to be viewed at a later date.
Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):
Later, we view and read a Power Point of each student's character description, but you could also print out the Wordles and create a book. You could also have students pair up and compare their character descriptions.
Assessments & notes
Plan for Independent Practice:
During our next book, students try their hand at taking notes on characters and developing their Wordle independently.
Assessment Based on Objectives:
I assess students work based on the depth of the character analysis. Students get points for each attribute they describe. Students using inferences to analyze characters have higher scores and I will use their analysis as a model for others.