Tip: Build a Character
How do I do it?
Language learners can benefit from monitoring their reading with visualization to help them comprehend a text. Visualizing a character and then constructing one from different faces, body parts, and props (with evidence for their choices) is a good way for students to describe characters in a story and make sure they are comprehending the text. Download our handy build a character worksheet for students to utilize. As students read the narrative, direct them to choose a character and build a picture of them as they read (or afterwards). As they read or following reading, students choose body parts and props to build their character. They must include words with page numbers to support their choices. For example, if choosing “sad” eyes they can write, “The timid mouse cried a lot.” (pg. 3) next to their choice.
Variations & Extensions
In pairs or triads, students compare and contrast their 2 or 3 characters with a double or triple Venn diagram explaining what traits the characters have in common and how they differ. The can use place words, phrases, or sentences on slips of paper on Venn diagrams. Use a “build a character” program online such as on PBS Kids and have students build and print the same character with different eyes, expressions and props etc. and then write words or sentences to compare the characters in a Venn diagram.
Common Core ELA Reading Standard 3
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.