This “Character’s Phone” creative characterization activity for The Catcher in the Rye is a fabulous, and relevant way to assess your students' understanding of characterization! Kids love their phones! This activity has them imagine a character’s phone’s apps, their favorite entertainment, shopping, news, social media, and other indulgences. No-prep! Includes completed example for modeling and a scoring rubric.
The directions for the activity are as follows:
- CHOOSE A CHARACTER
- Imagine your character in the present. What would this character have on his or her phone?
- What image or graphic would your character upload to the home screen?
- Choose apps from the categories: ENTERTAINMENT, SOCIAL MEDIA, SHOPPING, NEWS, AND SELF-INDULGENCES
- Complete the illustration/discussion component for each (150-225 words per category).
- Be sure to accurately represent the character’s traits demonstrated in the literature.
I’ve included a completed activity using Beneatha from A Raisin in the Sun with suggestions for how to use the example to model expectations.
There are many ways to use this activity in your classroom.
Consider offering kids the following choices or choose one for the entire class:
- Poster/Collage: This is a great way for the artists in the class to demonstrate their knowledge of characterization while demonstrating mad art skills. Provide kids with a poster board that they can section off for each component of the activity. Completed projects can be displayed for a gallery walk. A variation of this strategy is to offer students old magazines (that pile leftover in the library from days gone by) or have students print images from the internet to glue onto poster boards. They also include the written portion next to their graphics.
- Hard Copy: Students can create a cover with the phone template and devote a page to each of the components of the activity. I’ve done this often with great success. I then devote some class time to passing them around to appreciate classmates’ work.
- Digital Copy: You can push the activity out to students so that they can complete the tasks on the computer or devices in whatever format they or you choose (docs, slides, PowerPoint) and submit digitally. These are easily shared with the class as well.
- Collaborative Presentation: I recently had my seniors complete this activity for Othello in collaborative groups. They all contributed to a slide presentation. It was fabulous because for each component they provided links that took the class to music videos, movie clips, newscasts, etc. It was quite engaging and so much fun!
The kids really love this project and I get awesome results.
A buyer commented, "This is an excellent resource!"
For a look at the same resource for other novels, click below:
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