Tag Archives: Characterization

Goat’s Coat by Tom Percival

Schema: sharing

Text-to-Self: seeing others who need your help, deciding how to help others

Characterization: This is an excellent text to discuss empathy and compassion with young readers. Goat is very generous and shows empathy to the other animals that he meets along his walk.

Text-to-Text: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Cause and Effect: Because the goat gave his coat to the animals that he could help, the effect is that he is without a coat. Because the goat helped others, the effect is that he has many caring friends.

Rhyming text captures young listeners interest. The large and detailed illustrations are very easy to share with a group. All of the animals’ expressions are delightful. I think this is a wonderful book to share with young readers to illustrate how to be caring to others.

El Perro con Sombrero meets Los Gatos con Gelatos: A Bilingual Doggy Tale by Derek Taylor Kent

Schema: Working on homework, forgetting homework at home, playing with dog, taking care of pets, responsibilities

Text-to-Self: doing homework, playing with pets

Predicting: After events in the story, the reader is asked, “What would Pepe do?” This engages the reader throughout the story.

Characterization: Talk about Pepe’s traits. He puts others before himself as he stops to help the little bird and the dog. He has confidence and determination as he tries to climb a tree. He’s smart and creative in the way he gets the soccer players to come to the car. He’s brave in the way he fights to get the homework away from the cat.

Cause and Effect: Because Pepe helped rescue the dog, the effect is the dog chases the gang of cats away.

The illustrations are lively and animated and will capture the interest of young readers and listeners.
The text is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. The pages are slick and thick and the binding is better than trade.

Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams & Khadra Mohammed


Schema: Sharing, friendship

The story is set in a refugee camp in Pakistan. Two girls, age ten, meet as they both get one each of a pair of sandals dropped off by a relief truck. The next day, Lina gives Feroza the sandal. Feroza suggests they share taking turns each day. The girls share their experiences of losing family and the sacrifices of being refugees and develop a caring friendship. They shared their hopes for finding a new home. They recognize the beginning of Ramadan.

Characterization: Lina and Feroza were both compassionate and caring, and both have a desire to learn. Although they were not allowed to go to school with the boys, they would listen by the window and practice writing in the dirt.

Symbolism: The sandals represented hope for finding each other in America some day. Each girl kept one as they parted.

Realistic Fiction: The story is based on real experiences in a refugee camp and can help readers to feel compassion for others who are homeless and immigrating into another country.

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

Schema: being cruel and unkind

Text-to-Self: Feeling mistreated by other kids, not being accepted

Bullies: Chloe decides to be cruel and bully another student.

Mental Images: Imagine the ripple of the water and think how this is like an action of kindness or cruelty.

Metaphor: The ripple and the act are alike in one way; they both spread far from you.

Synthesis: What small things have you done to make the world, your home, your school, your family better?

Can you think of ways Chloe could make amends for the way she treated Maya if she never sees her again?

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

Schema: Goldilocks stories

Text-to-Text: Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Drawing Conclusions: Find text evidence to support the conclusion that the dinosaurs were setting a trap for Goldilocks.

Synthesis: Can you think of any other morals for the story?

Compare and Contrast: the original story with this one.

Characterization: Find the text where Goldilock’s character is described.

Point of View: The dinosaurs point of view is not the innocent one of the bears, but one of calculating prey looking forward to setting a trap for delicious, chocolate-filled Goldilocks.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Schema: mysteries, museums

Text-to-text connections: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Cause and Effect: Because Ben was talking on the phone during a storm, the effect was that Ben lost his hearing when lightning struck the phone line.

Characterization: List Ben’s traits: curious, smart, brave to travel alone, good speller and writer, uses any resource available, resourceful for eating food left by others. How are the character traits of Ben and his mother alike?

Drawing Conclusions: Practice drawing conclusions as you read the pictures for Rose’s story. Inference is used to draw the conclusions.

Point of View: author’s: third person, character’s: Ben and Rose

Summarizing: Summarize Rose’s early life up to when she meets Ben

Mental Image: Can you make a mental image of the wolves chasing Ben? Check out the wolves’ diorama from the AMNH in New York City.

Go to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC’s website and look at some of the exhibits online.

Check out the panorama of NYC boroughs at the Queens Museum of History.

 

 

The Day Roy Riegels Ran the Wrong Way by Dan Gutman

Schema: football scoring rules

Text-to-Text Connection: Turkey Bowl by Phil Bildner also takes place many years ago.

In this full color picture book, the author shares the story of Roy Riegels as historical fiction. The real life lesson is that we all make mistakes, but we shouldn’t let a mistake  destroy our ability to move forward and achieve in the future. The story tells how Roy continued to be great athlete and a successful businessman and did not let his big mistake and label of “wrong-way Riegels” color his future in a negative way.

Author’s purpose and Point of View: Written in third person, the author tells the real life story of Roy Riegels.

Cause and Effect: Because Roy ran the wrong way, the effect was that his team lost their big game.

Drawing Conclusions: We can draw the conclusion that Roy did not let his mistake ruin his life because he continued to be successful.

 

Scapegoat: The Story of a Goat Named Oat and a Chewed-up Coat by Dean hale


Schema: blaming something on someone else

Definition of Scapegoat

In rhyming text the author shares the story about very mischevious Jimmy and his goat, P. Petunia Oat.

Sequencing: What did Jimmy blame on Petunia in order: eating his coat, throwing away the TV remote, blowing his nose in the tote, breaking the boat, shaving the goat’s thoat

Reader’s Theater: This book would be a great reader’s theater with a part for the goat and a part for Jimmy.

Author reads his book in Spanish on You Tube.

Characterize Jimmy and Petunia based on the text and illustrations.

Drawing Conclusions: What conclusion do you come to about what happened to Jimmy’s coat?

Point of View: The author’s POV is third person.

 

 

 

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara & Mark Fearing

Schema: The original story of the three little pigs

Compare and Contrast: the original story with the modern one

Personification: the robot

Characterize the robot and the wolf in the original story

The story of the Three Little Pigs meets the space age in this new twist on the original story. The three aliens all find homes in space, one on a rover, one on a satellite, and the third one on Mars where he builds a sturdy house. The planets are illustrated in order from the sun so a reader could gain some reinforcement of space learning as the book is read. This would be a support for a compare and contrast unit. The illustrations are colorful and add humor to the story.

Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story From the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine

Schema: Underground railroad, escaped slaves

Author’s purpose: to share African American history

Author’s Point of View: 3rd person omniscient as we see the story from more than one character’s point of view

Cause and Effect: Because Henry’s family was sold, the effect was that Henry went to the extreme of mailing himself to escape the sorrow of slavery.

Characterize Henry: hard working, good listener, loving, strong

Mental Images: Henry imagined the carts carrying away his family and all that he loved every night.

Drawing Conclusions: Henry knew that the mail was delivered everywhere. He thought he could stand being in a box for many hours. He drew the conclusion that he could mail himself north to escape slavery.

After Henry’s family is sold, he purposefully pours sulphuric acid on his hand so that he could stay home from work in order to get some help in mailing himself to the northern states to escape slavery in the southern United States.