KinderGals: Teaching Characters with Chicken Little

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Teaching Characters with Chicken Little

Michele and I are excited to be starting our third unit in Reader's Workshop. In this unit we are going to focus on characters and settings. We are also going to start introducing some of the beginning strategies that readers use. This post is all about characters.
First we start with our anchor chart. Each item on the anchor chart is a key point of what we want to teach. Each item will be a separate mini lesson. The pictures are a great way for the kids to remember what the words say.
We used our story "Chicken Little" as our mentor text for learning about characters. What better way to learn that the characters are the people and animals in the story that talk, than to role play the story!  I love these bibs! Instead of spending tons of time making costumes so that they will know who is each character, simply let them wear a card with a picture of their character. Role playing is also evidence of comprehension!
To learn that the characters are who the story is about, we used a bubble map. We discussed words that described Chicken Little as we wrote them on the chart.
The children cut a strip of the characters. They sequenced the characters. Be sure to have a copy of the book available for children to use as a reference. It isn't essential for children to memorize a story. Children need to learn that good readers go back to the text.
How fun! During centers, the kids made a toilet paper roll Chicken Little in the art center. They turned out so stinkin' cute!
So often, teachers are told no art! But, actually art is a brain power activity.  Art increases a child's potential to recall information. 
The kids roll up the strip of characters and slide it inside the toilet paper roll Chicken Little. We all know that when we send papers home with kids, the end up in the trash can with very little discussion. But, when the child takes home this toilet paper roll Chicken Little, the parents say, "What's that?" Wow! This means that they will have a conversation about the learning from school! Win-win!
We learned that if we sequence the characters, we can use that to help us retell the story.  This gives kids a purpose for sequencing characters!

Want to see these lessons? They are part of Unit 3 Digging Deeper.
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Freckleteacher said...

I can't wait to hear you in Vegas! I have your first unit and will buy the others soon. I love the anchor charts!

Catherine said...

It was AWESOME meeting you last night at the teacher/blogger meet up. I'm over the moon about your Reader's workshop Units! I think they will be perfect as mini lessons during my check-in times for Daily 5 with my firsties! Thanks again!

Cindy Solomon said...

Have a great time in Vegas! Love your blog. I awarded you The Versatile Blogger award. Hop on over to my blog to pick it up. :-)

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Julie Holzenthal said...

KIm, I love these! I can't wait to use them in my first grade class next year! It was great seeing you in Vegas... again! I always learn something new... and I have gone to your sessions since you presented at the ITK in Florida!

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