In the previous days lesson, students were given some very basic facts to start with. When I read their responses many of them are eager to read the book. I ask them a few questions to review and then ask them to look at the title of the chapter. I ask them what the title might tell us about what we are about to read.
Before reading I tell them that while we read I want them to get to know the characters. I then read chapter one with my students. I ask for volunteers to read and we take turns. I also read to help model fluency and expression.
As we read, I stop them often to probe their understanding and focus their attention on important details. When we finish I ask them to discuss the characters the author has just given us and how did the author set up the story.
This discussion really gets going and often I do not need to prompt, but have them focus on the characters only. I have students call on each other and bring up characters. When they bring up a character I write that on the board.
It is now time for students to draw on facts from the book to help them understand the characters. I ask them to choose a character and find all the facts they can from the chapter that helps us understand them. I remind them to only use chapter one.
When students have all the facts, I ask them to now discuss each character with the class. I had them stay at their desks and explain what they know about the character and why. I ask lots of questions that relate to inferred details and more in depth analysis of the character.
We continue discussing all the characters we can. The last question I ask is, "how is knowing more about the characters going to help us as we read further?" We then discuss this answer to close.