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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Character Development

The fourth graders have been considering all the ways authors create believable characters, the kinds who make such a deep impression on the reader that they feel like people we know. Do authors start with lists like the one created by the children? Noticeably absent are any physical characteristics!

I am thinking about the well-developed characters in The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. I learned so much about them while immersed in the book that I wouldn't be surprised to meet one by chance. Fictional characters sometimes live on the edge of those people I really do know.


  1. I forgot to tell you... During Debra's visit yesterday, when the kids were sharing their different author's craft group jobs and sharing about thinking through the questions of "Is it convincing?" and "Would my character actually say that?" and "What can I see with new eyes?" one said, "And then, when we got our papers back, we had to show and practice humility to make the changes that we didn't see." Proud teacher moment!

  2. I love proud teacher moments when it all comes together!

    This question is for all who read this blog - I'm looking for a read aloud with my 5th grade students. Something that will capture them. Something with characters they can relate to. Something that isn't too lengthy.

    I appreciate any suggestions!

  3. Ha! The Art of Fielding? All about baseball, right? Just like Cather in the Rye.

  4. If I don't like or love the characters in a story, then I usually lose interest. I adored the characters in Sharon Creech's Replay!!!! (Note to Mrs. Haugen: I don't know if Replay would be suitable for your 5th graders, but the melody & inventiveness of its language would make it a great read-alound. (Indeed, the audio version was delightful!)
    Jewel, It is interesting that the 4th graders didn't give physical would be fun to see what 1st graders would come up with...

  5. PS Is that Birdman misbehaving again! :o)

  6. Note to Sketchbook Wandering - Replay by Sharon Creech? Thank you for the suggestion. I will check it out tomorrow! :)