When I want students to explore and connect with characters in a short story or novel, my favorite strategy - hands down - is Hot Seat.
The activity is called Hot Seat (after the idiomatic phrase “in the Hot Seat”) because students have to think quickly and respond to their classmates’ tough questions and comments.
I love it because it…
…gets every student is involved,
…it requires students to collaborate,
…it deepens comprehension, and
…it requires no preparation at all.
This resource contains visual and text-only instructions along with my #1 favorite mini-lesson to demo this strategy - which never fails to entertain, surprise and engage students.
Here’s What You Get:
Hot Seat Quick-Start Activity Guide A Mini-Lesson which includes a short story, a prediction slide (which add the first bit of drama to the lesson), and the post-reading star of the show, HOT SEAT.
Step-by-Step Lesson Plan 2 Extension Activities including a fun writing prompt assessment and the HOT SEAT 2.0 variation that I use as an interactive close reading task for more complex texts
The Hot Seat activity helps students empathize with characters, analyze direct quotes, and draw inferences about motivations. I have found that even shy students enjoy participating in this activity. Since all responses are developed by the group, the fear of being judged for giving an incomplete or inaccurate response is minimized or eliminated.
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