Thursday, September 26, 2013

September Swap and Share with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching- Interactive Character Analysis Posters

Hey there!

I am so excited to be a part of a product swap with one of my good blogging buddies, Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching!!

There were so many wonderful items in her TpT store that I had to choose was a very difficult choice!!  But I finally made a decision!

I can't wait to share how we used her wonderful Character Analysis Posters!!

I originally read about these posters when she linked them up to our Must Read Mentor Text Linky.  I immediately loved the idea!!  It's so simple, yet I had definitely not thought of it!! I am soooooo thankful that Joanne did because these posters are amazing and have really helped my students with character analysis!  (Joanne always has the best ideas!!  Truly!!)

Let me tell you how I used them!

We have been studying Native Americans in social studies.  I love the book Rough Faced Girl by Rafe Martin.

I knew I wanted to use this book and I wanted to compare it to Cinderella, since Rough Faced Girl is a Native American version of Cinderella.  

So, I read Cinderella by Barbara Karlin the first day.

It's very similar to most versions of Cinderella, with a few differences (which we discussed).  Then, we pasted a character traits chart into our notebooks and discussed different character traits that we had found in the story and EVIDENCE from the text (through dialogue or actions) that supported our thinking.  We wrote these in our journals.

I was setting them up for the next day, when I would read Rough Faced Girl.  

The next day, I had about 18 of Joanne's pretty posters printed and laminated and hot glued to the only space I had left in my room.  :O)

I chose the 18 posters purposefully, knowing the story of Rough Faced Girl.  Joanne includes 50 posters in this pack and I didn't want to overwhelm them with choices.  I think adding new posters as the year goes on will work very well for my students!

So, using the character traits lesson we had done the day before, I told them to really think about the characters in this story.  I wrote the 18 different traits that I had picked out on the board and we read them and discussed them.

I showed them the pretty posters (which of course they had already noticed but it was still an awe moment!).  I showed them the sticky note space and I explained that when they knew a character was exhibiting a certain trait, they needed to write down the characters name, what character trait they exhibited, and evidence from the text (dialogue or actions or both) that proved it.

They were ready and excited to get started!

I had them list character traits on a sticky note with the character name as we went through the story.  There were tons!!  When I finished the story, they chose their favorite and wrote a sentence about the character, the trait, and the evidence that supported it on their sticky note.

Then came their favorite part.  Sticking them on the posters!!  They each read their sticky note and then put it in it's place of honor on the poster!!
It was very fun for them!

I also love the fact that this activity is automatically differentiated.  My higher students could use character traits like resourceful, while my strugglers could pick cruel, yet all were successful!!

(You can see that a lot of students automatically went with the safe trait of cruel in describing the sisters, which is fine because they could all back it up with evidence from the text!)

But, you can also see, that many challenged themselves to think deeper.  They did an awesome job of using evidence from the text to support their thinking, too!

After we got their sticky notes up, I issued a challenge that there were several posters that didn't have a post it yet.  I wondered if anyone would take the next day or so and see if we could also find these character traits within the text and find evidence to support it.

Well, it wasn't even five minutes later and more sticky notes were going up.  While we were lining up for PE, mind you.  But of course, being a few minutes late to PE did not bother me one bit...Look at all of this thinking going on!!

THEN, the next day, we used these posters and character traits within our guided reading groups.  The posters are actually right behind my small group table so it's the perfect location to refer to them often!  They were pros at it by now!!  And, now they were challenging each other to use as many of the traits as they could!!  Score!!

My next level will be to have them do this with their independent books while I am pulling small groups.  I'm positive they are ready!!

I can't thank Joanne enough for thinking of this and sharing it with us!!  After I finished this lesson, I had that awesome teacher feeling.  You know the one...the one  you get when you just did a lesson and you can TELL that it totally stuck and it was successful?  Yep, that one!!  And, I owe it all to Joanne and this wonderful product!!!

So what are you waiting for?!?  You MUST go try this out!!!  You MUST!!  You will be so thankful you did!!!

PS- Be sure to check out all of the other amazing products that are linked below!  You'll find even more you have to have!

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