Sunday, November 6, 2011

short story workshop

Due to the popularity of the dialogue workshop, in which I gave story starters and students continued the story to practice dialogue punctuation, we used the short story workshop to practice characterization. Story starter examples:

1. Jeff walked out of math class and saw a shiny object on the floor. He picked it up and realized it was an iPod touch.

2. Jake is a terrific soccer player and can make the team if he can pass math class. He needs to pass next week's math test in order to maintain a passing grade in math. (This was inspired by the short story "The Treasure of Lemon Brown" by Walter Dean Myers.)

3. Abby's parents just told her they have to move to Florida because her father found a new job there. She's upset and would prefer to stay here and live with her grandparents.

The lesson emphasized how character's actions, words, thoughts, and feelings contribute to the characterization in the story. After students told their stories, we discussed the character traits exhibited by the characters they created. The big picture goal of the workshop is the students' deeper reading of literature beyond the black and white words on the page.


Mardie said...

I'm going to try this next week. We've been working on inferring about character, using the strategies from 'Fresh Takes on Teaching Literary Elements' by Smith and Wilhelm. This will be a perfect extension of the work we've done so far! Thanks for the great ideas.

roller coaster teacher said...

Good luck, Mardie! My students loved telling stories, but many looked stunned by the follow-up question, "so... what does that show about your character?" I think they're making connections, but some are taking baby steps, which is ok :)