Today during silent reading, when I reviewed the logs, I paid close attention to the traits of a memoir section. This served as a jumping off point for student/teacher conversation. I wanted to make sure students understood the concepts covered during the week. Could they identify traits from their memoirs? Also, were they understanding how to pull direct quotes that signified each trait? I used silent reading time to meet one on one and clear up misconceptions.
Due to the modeling, I noticed by and large that students were understanding these concepts. I also used this time to reiterate the important of text examples. The "my thinking" section in student logs is always more effective when students can pinpoint specific text examples to support their thinking.
During one of the previous check-in days, I had written a comment next to one of the logs that said "text example needed." On the final day of the week I came to verify that the student made the necessary change on her reading log, aka added the example.
Here are some reading log examples:
This activity is a continuation from the previous day. Students are to continue independently finding character traits that define the characters in their memoirs. I ask them to locate their protagonist, as well as two or three other major characters. Students are then asked to determine these character's relationship to the protagonist. Essentially, they fill out the graphic organizer independently, using their novel. They should use the work we did as a class from the previous day and follow the in class model.
This assignment comes from Read, Write, Think. In their composition notebooks, students will be asked to create characters by answering a series of questions about these imaginary people. These questions will help develop these characters.
They can create any kind of person they want. However, my one request is that they avoid stereotypes. Students are familiar with this term from our gender identities lesson that took place earlier in the year. I explain that stereotypes stifle creativity. These characters should be realistic, yet unique.
One thing I wish I had created was a greater purpose for these characters. Maybe, one way to have made this assignment more connected would be to have used the sketches for them to develop a character to be used in their memoir. Or possibly, students could have created these characters and swapped in some kind of dialogue activity. I think this lesson didn't have the connectivity that I usually aim for. However, it was fun and creative. Students came up with some interesting personality types.
Here is a student Character Sketch.