Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center


AUTHOR:  Frances Vitali, Lake Valley Navajo School, NM

GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT:   appropriate for any grade level,
language arts

OVERVIEW: Describing information about characters and/or
events from a book or story

PURPOSE:   Students can visualize a character or event from
a story or book and then personalize it through drawings.

1.   Students will develop a series of drawings about a
     story or book read by themselves, the teacher or
     someone else.
2.   Students will describe their drawings by writing a
     descriptive word, sentence or paragraph (depending on
     the grade level).
3.   Students will impersonate characters and/or events
     through drama and role playing (Theater Games).
4.   Students will decide on a character or scene and choose
     their own artistic medium to express a particular
     character constructing a three dimensional Pirate ship;
     writing a poem or song about Captain Hook's adventures,

RESOURCES/MATERIALS:  Art paper(long), crayons, felt tip
markers, magic markers, colored pencils, regular pencils or
paint and paint brushes.

  Either after or during a storytelling session,
teacher/facilitator asks students about the characters in
the story.  What words would you use to describe Peter Pan?
What is Captain Hook like?
List the characters with their descriptions in Journals or
on board.  Once students are responding with opinions about
the characters, they are ready to draw them.

Distribute white or cream colored drawing paper (dimensions
approximately 8"x 16") to students.  Students are asked to
fold paper in half, then fourths (more, if needed). For
younger students, preİfold paper before distributing.

Teacher/facilitator asks students to draw a picture of a
character from their story or book remembering what he/she
looked like from the words read about him/her including the
descriptive words.  Students then write a descriptive word,
sentence or paragraph about the character underneath the

Another character from the story is drawn in the next space
after the fold, continuing in this manner using both sides
if needed.

Students can use whatever drawing implements they wish:
pencil, crayons, magic markers, felt tip pen, paint and
paintbrush, etc

VARIATION: Students can make life size pictures of the
characters to be on exhibit or to use in the retelling of
the story.  Themes and characters from history can also be
used.  Also caricatures of the characters can be explored.
After the drawing sessions, students can preten to be the
different characters.  The teacher/facilitator can suggest
events or scenes for characters to perform.  Students can
role play a character and classmates will have to guess
which character is being portrayed. (There are many
possibilities here.)

Students are able to develop stronger character
identification through art and dramatization.  Each activity
reinforces the character in the mind of the student aurally,
visually and kinesthetically.  Through reading or listening,
character drawings and dramatic role playing, the
personality of the character or scene comes alive


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