read alouds

HANDS ON - Jamie O'Rourke Character Analysis Project

It's officially the week of St. Patrick's Day! That means it's time to really ENGAGE the kids so we aren't peeling them off the ceiling! I started some St. Patrick's Day themed stuff a little early. Last week we read the book, "Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato." This is such a great book! I highly recommend you add it to your classroom library collection!

When we first began reading this book on Monday, we did a simple prediction and confirmations of predictions lesson. Tuesday, we did a nice little retell. I love starting the week off that way to get the kids to really understand the story. Wednesday-Friday we were all about analyzing the two main characters: Jamie and Eileen!

We started analyzing the characters by discussing their outside traits, what we see with our eyeballs.
We wrote down their outside traits.

After writing their outside traits I gave the kids body outlines for a boy and a girl. Students were instructed to use the outside traits to draw Jamie and Eileen as best as they could. Students had to really attend to the outside traits of the character in order to draw Jamie and Eileen. It was an awesome way to see who notices key details. We don't just need to practice it when reading, but in all areas of our lives. This was a great way for the kids to see that.

On Thursday, I read the book again to students. This time our purpose was to identify inside traits for the two characters based on their actions and words. We stopped and had a LOT of discussion. The students came up with amazing words to describe both characters. Naturally, I forgot to take a picture of it! Anyway, after we came up with words to describe the characters inside traits, the students wrote the outside trait on a note card folded in half. Then, on the inside students provided evidence from the story to explain why they chose that trait for the character. They had so much fun. They were aloud to work by themselves or a with friends during this activity. I let them choose. There was all sorts of great conversations going on during this activity. Students were referring back to the book to look for evidence. I mean, what more can a FIRST GRADE teacher ask for! 

As you can see above, the note cards for inside character traits went inside the bag. Then, students also labeled the outside traits on the outside of their bag.

On Friday, students compared and contrasted the two characters. I didn't snap a picture of their writing but I gave them the following sentence starters:

"Jamie and Eileen are the same because..."
"Jamie and Eileen are different because..."

The students used their knowledge of the characters to compare and contrast. They wrote these in a pot of gold writing template. This activity was done at the very end of the day on Friday and they wanted to take their projects home to show parents so no picture! Oh well, you get the idea!

Have a great week! Thanks for stopping by! 

No comments