I had a wonderful author visit at the Bowers Elementary School yesterday. When they contacted me months ago, they said the students were interested in learning about character development, so I created a program just for them. The presentation talked about character analysis, voice, consistency, and character choices. I love to make the presentations as fun and inclusive as possible. I created a game called Lucy or Charlie Brown in which students come up to the front and are given a paddle on which one side had a picture of Charlie Brown and one side had a picture of Lucy. They students were then shown – with no context at all – a quote. They had to decide, based on the word choices and tone, if Charlie Brown said it or Lucy. They did a fabulous job with it!
I did some workshops throughout the day. With the Kindergartners, I did OUTSIDE/INSIDE worksheets. I read LOST AND FOUND by Oliver Jeffers and we talked about the outside of the character, Boy, and what he was like on the inside. I gave the students symbols to represent caring, smart, brave, calm, etc.
The second graders had a different task. We created two characters with opposite character traits, then I assigned them a short scene to write. Their goal was to try to shape the voice of their characters to inform the reader/listener of their character traits. This is a difficult task to accomplish in 30 minutes, but they did a great job! Here, I am reading a scene with a student about two video game characters and mine just went BOOM!
I had a fabulous time with all the Bowers students and I’m really looking forward to returning and working with the older grades! THANK YOU BOWERS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!