Comparing and Contrasting Characters
I thought I’d share a few snapshots of my students in action THIS year! We have two items off our menu that are required…where we compare and contrast two characters (we worked on creating venn diagrams and then crafted two paragraphs where we worked on clear topic sentences, details, transition words and phrases, and a conclusion). This is a great way for students to see the benefit of PLANNING using organizers to help them with their writing! This ties so nicely to many of our writing units–we want students to state a “claim” or a thesis and then prove it with detailed evidence from the text.
Writing from Different Points of View
Our second required task is where we pick one key “turning point’ event in our book and write about it from two key characters’ points of view. Today we worked back in our book clubs (we are all writing about our book club books) to do some brainstorming! Groups worked to generate a list of 4-6 key events and the characters they felt could “tell” the story. Tomorrow we begin drafting our “mini” stories. We used our books and our reader’s notebooks to go back and track our thinking–and eventually had everyone pick THE event they felt most compelled to write about. This is a perfect way for students to not only recognize points of view, but also to practice digging back into a text for evidence. This is a great way for students to really have some great discussions about which events in their books are truly the most important and impactful–and for them to recognize that different characters really do see things differently in a story…and that can really influence how they act.
Creative Writing and More!
What else are we doing? During our reader’s and writer’s workshop, students are selecting from reading and working off the writing menu. The hum of activity in the classroom is so much fun! Some are making cartoons…others are sketching key scenes and writing powerful captions. I love that this unit allows for some creativity–and students REALLY respond.
Here a student is creating a story “map” to help him plan out a cartoon that represents a key section of his book…
|One of the students’ favorite activities on the menu is being able to pretend they are one of the characters and to write a diary as if they WERE that character living the experiences of the book. Talk about deepening understanding!
|One of my students’ favorites is writing a series of diary entries from a secondary character’s point of view.|