Learn about story characters and fundamental narrative structure and elements.
- Prompt a discussion about stories by asking the children to name a story they have heard. If they have difficulty recalling a story, remind them of stories you have recently read in class.
- Talk about the people and animals in these stories. Explain that they are called characters, and they are very important to the story because all of the action revolves around them.
- Ask the children to name the characters in the stories they mentioned.
- Show the children a few of the StoryTales figures and animals, and tell them that these will be characters in their stories.
- Model how to describe a character by talking about its characteristics.
- Tell the children it is time to play a character game.
- Choose a figure or animal without letting anyone see it. Describe it while the children guess which one it is. The child who guesses the character can keep it for the rest of the game.
Encourage a discussion about characteristics. Consider asking questions like:
- What kinds of characteristics did you name?
- Was it difficult thinking of all the characteristics? Why or why not?
- Why is it important to describe characters in a story?
Tell the children that the characteristics they have been discussing are physical characteristics. Explain that this means they describe how a character looks, and that physical characteristics are important in a story because they help the audience picture the character.
Tell them that it is even more important to understand how characters behave. Explain that these behaviors are called personality traits, then give some examples (e.g., a horse might be brave and caring).
Play the character game again. Place all the characters in a bag and have one child pick a character without showing it to anyone. Encourage him or her to act like the character by making sounds and movements. The rest of the children will try to guess which character is being described. If they have trouble, help them identify the appropriate characteristics.
Did you notice?
Observing the following competencies can help you monitor whether the children are developing language and literacy skills.
- Children are able to describe things and events.
- Children are able to understand fundamental narrative structure and elements.