Sunday, July 22, 2012
Character Development Activity
Have the kids pick a famous actor/actress as their main character. (Their character should be approved by their parents since the kids will be watching movies and such. You don't want anyone going home and telling their parents that YOU told them they HAVE to watch some R-rated movie.)
Tell the kids that their job is to become a private investigator or a paparazzi (those phrases sound so much cooler than "researcher"). They must watch movies, look on the internet, read, etc. to learn about the character they chose. They need to learn everything they can about their character (However, IF it arises, I would tell them not to focus on any break-ups or any law-breaking. Usually, simply telling them that it is not appropriate for school is a good-enough reason for them.). The kids should answer questions like: What do they look like? How do they walk? What are their favorites? What does their voice sound like? etc. Give them a time frame to do this, maybe a week. Have lots of mini-lessons planned for writing descriptively and using sensory details. You can print pictures of their characters off so they can do some writing in class also.
This idea will also get the reluctant writers writing in their writer's notebooks because they should take "notes."
When their ready and have collected enough data, have the kids use what they have learned to develop a description of their character.
You can do this with other characters and the setting. You can even have them pick a problem from a movie to write about. REAL writers do this all of the time (reading and watching movies to get ideas).
If you choose to have them do the same activity with other story elements, you can turn it into a project.