Do your students have a cell phone? If they do, chances are they take "selfies" (photos of themselves) all the time. Turn this favorite pastime into an activity that will strengthen their comprehension skills! Not to mention, you will be one cool teacher for these 21st century kids!
Examples of when to take character selfies:
Independent reading response
Response to a class read aloud
In this activity, students draw from the point of view of the character. In order to draw from the characters point of view, the reader needs to get inside the character’s feelings. Teach them to have their characters take selfies at major events in the story.
Skills to teach for character selfies:
Character analysis: students will tune into the textual evidence that describes the character's physical appearance, moods, actions, etc.
Summary: Have students make their character take a selfie at the end of each chapter to summarize the chapter.
Point of View: Students provide a caption written in the point of view of the character.
Visualization: Students combine textual evidence and their creativity to visualize a scene from the text.
Have the students use evidence from the text to include details in the picture of who the character might be with, the setting, the facial expression the character may be making after facing a challenge etc.
Here are some standards you might use this activity for:
Common Core Standards:
Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series) (Analyze a series of character selfies from one book to another with the same character)
Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including ****how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges**** or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.