PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Building Character in 302

In Reading, we are working on a Character Study. In this unit, we are getting to know characters as if they were our friends! In order to do this, readers need to pay close attention to:

  • what character say
  • what characters do
  • what characters think
  • how characters feel
  • how they respond to other characters
  • patterns of behavior
  • times when our character acts “out of character”

Within this unit,  children are taught to closely observe characters, make predictions, and sharpen their skills in interpretation.  We are studying one character in particular, Juice, through our class read aloud, Just Juice. 

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During Read aloud, students are learning to build theories about Juice.  A theory is a larger idea about a character, that is based on text evidence. An example of a theory is Juice is the kind of person who is determined.  As readers, we read to look for evidence in the text to support our theory. What does Juice do or say that would prove she is determined?  Is this a pattern throughout the book? Does Juice act this way all the time? When does Juice act out of character?

Children have begun to respond in their Reading notebooks, keeping track of their own theories about the characters in their independent books. They have been using sentence starters to help them build a theory:

My Theory:    ________________is the kind of person who ___________________.

We have also been collecting proof for our theories by using “stop and jot” and recording our evidence in our reading notebooks, using t-charts labeled  Theory/ Evidence.

This is early work that supports students in being able to write a literary essay, with supporting details from the text. To be able to describe our characters well, we need precise language. This list of Character Traits can support your child in having exact words to describe the character in his/her own book.

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, November 15th- Trip to Prospect Park Zoo

Thursday, November 16th- ½ day of school and Parent Teacher Conferences

Friday, November 17th- PAJAMA DAY- Wear your favorite jammies!