CHARACTER MEETUPS: Boring Characters Be Gone!
During my 5 years as a literacy coach, I have used the 130 names included in this activity pack to get students in grades 5-10 to create rich character descriptions for narrative pieces.
Students will never again write a boring character description like “John Smith was a 5’5’ boy with brown hair.” Instead, they’ll replace this ho-hum description with a more interesting one like “Cosmo Finkelbean clutched his lucky rabbit’s foot and wiped the sweat from his forehead as he made his way to the podium.”
Why It Works
Before students even begin to write, they will assume the identity of a character or several characters by introducing themselves to one another (networking-style) and by engaging in brief conversations.
Later, they will role play situations in which their characters are in conflict.
Finally, they will create character collections which they will use throughout the year to draft free writes - or to create characters for longer narrative pieces.
After the active engagement activities have been completed, students will be ready (and excited) to pre-write, draft, polish and publish their character sketches, free writes or formal narrative pieces.
The reason this technique is so successful is that the dreaded staring-at-a-blank page portion of the writing process has been eliminated by multiple rehearsals that feel like fun activities or icebreakers instead of getting-ready-to-write exercises.
What Do You Get?
130 Character Names
10 Days of Lessons
Character Intro Directions
Character Collection Setup
Character Improv Activity
Extension Materials including:
How to Write a Character Sketch
Final Draft Display Pages
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