Students will demonstrate their understanding of how to create a character and their background by completing a character analysis.
Hook: When students enter class instruct that they are to walk around the room, just moving through the space and you are going to call out emotions. Explain that this will be a silent game and that it is their job to respond to each emotion. They need to move their body in such a way that someone would know they were sad even if they didn’t speak.
As they move through space call out emotions such as happy, sad, surprised, angry, anxious, terrified, suspicious, bored, tired, proud, relaxed…. After students start to get a hang of the emotions then explain you are going to start making it more challenging and adding environments for them to react to, such as it is beginning to rain and you are really excited about it. Say the sun is coming out and you are having a relaxing day on the beach. Remind them that there are still no words. A day at the theme park and you are exhausted.
Step 1: Advanced Practice: Continue the activity from the hook but explain that students will now be choosing their own emotions. Give them students such as it begins to snow, you are stuck in a traffic jam, you are puddle jumping, you are walking through Walmart.
Step 2: Discussion: Bring students into a circle and ask them what this experience was like? Was it challenging to convey emotions? How did you convey emotions? How were you able to use your own experiences to create these emotions? What was it like to react to situations? How did you convey the situation with your body? How did you choose to react to the situations? Did everyone react the same way? Why or why not?
Step 3: Instruction: After the discussion, pull students to the front of the class and have them sit on the floor in front of you and explain to them that we will be having story time. Instruct that as you read they should be imagining the space that is being described and the characters that they are seeing, what do the characters look like? How do they move?
Read the following clip from The Boxcar Children….
“One warm night four children stood in front of a bakery. No one knew them. No one knew where they had come from. The baker’s wife saw them first, as they stood looking in the window of her store. The little boy was looking at the cakes, the big boy was looking at the loaves of bread, and the two girls were looking at the cookies. Now the baker’s wife did not like children, she did not like boys at all. So she came to the front of the bakery and listened, looking very cross. “The cake is good, Jessie,” the little boy said. He was about five years old. “Yes, Benny,” said the big girl. “But bread is better for you. Isn’t it, Henry?” “Oh, yes,” said Henry. “We must have some bread, and cake is not good or Benny and Violet.” “I like bread best, anyway,” said Violet. “I like bread best, anyway,” said Violet. She was about ten years old, and she had prettair and brown eyes. “That is just like you, Violet,” said Henry, smiling at her. “Let’s go into the bakery.”
Step 4: Practice/modeling: After you have read through the book excerpt ask students what they visualized the characters looking like? How would they move? What personalities do you think that they have from this basic description?
Then have all of the students stand up and explain that we are now going to follow a leader around the bakery. Ask one student to take charge and it is their responsibility to walk us around the bakery and show the class where everything is in the bakery that the boxcar children were just in. Model for them by entering the door and showing them where the cookies are in the bakery describe the smell and the different kinds of cookies and have everyone see them. Then turn it over to the junior tour guide and have them show the students the bakery.
Step 5: Discussion/Practice: After “touring” the bakery ask students to once again describe where everything is in the bakery. Then explain that now they are all becoming the different children in the bakery. They don’t have to be the exact children from the story but they need to become their own child.
Explain that they need to decide how old they are. Tell them to think about their own experiences at that age and how can they convey to us through actions how old they are and how they feel about being in the bakery. Did they just wake up from a nap and are they still sleepy? Are cookies the most exciting thing in the world to them? Explain that they are all classmates on a fieldtrip (but it is a multi-grade fieldtrip so they can be different ages) to the bakery and that they have to remain calm, they can begin to have a freak out but if they freak out too much that the bakers with will kick them out. Tell them that you are the bakers’ wife and will be walking around the shop.
Also instruct them that they are come to build relationships with the people around them. Maybe two of them are twins, or they are best friends, or you have an enemy in your class. Remind them that they still are not allowed to talk.
Step 6: Assessment: Depending on time, either have the students go through the bakery again and this time be allowed to talk, or if there is not enough time then have the students take the rest of class to write a character description of their character that they created.
Explain that they should write down what their characters name is, how old they are, who is in their family, do they have any pets, what is their favorite hobby, what are their talents, what do they want to be when they grow up, who is their best friend, who do they not get along with, what is their favorite color, do they have a favorite toy or game, etc. This will be collected for a total of 30/30 point