Character Kindergarten Unit
- Show students pictures of characters from familiar books. Have them identify words that describe the character’s physical appearance and actions.
- Students can draw a picture of a main character and label the picture with words that describe the character’s physical appearance. Students can also write a sentence describing the character’s actions.
- Pair students with a partner to identify main characters and secondary characters in read aloud books. Require students to prove their answers by counting and charting the number of pages the characters appear.
- Have students compare a character’s appearance to their appearance in a graphic organizer by listing descriptive words and drawing pictures. (See Additional Activities Chart A in Teacher and Student Materials below.)
- Students can complete a graphic organizer to describe the actions of a character from a read aloud book. (See Additional Activities Chart B in Teacher and Student Materials below.)
- In reading groups, ask students to name the main character in the story that they are reading. Draw a rough sketch of him/her on a large index card to help capture visual details.
- While reading a story aloud, ask students to give a sign after each action. For example: In the book, there is a picture of a boy swimming and the statement, “John went swimming.” The students would signal after hearing the statement or seeing the picture. Then the teacher would ask, “What is John’s action?” After students share the character’s action, ask, “How do you know?” Ask students to either point to the picture or the place in the book where it said, “John went swimming.”
- Sit with a small group of students and write a brief story on chart paper, making sure the story has a main character. After writing the story, go back and work with students to identify the character’s actions. As a group, underline the words or sentences in the story that describe the character’s actions.
- Have students create a character on their own by drawing and labeling a picture of the physical appearance of the character and writing one action the character might take.
- Photocopy pages from books (see supplemental booklist for book suggestions) and cover the words or provide students with “wordless” books. Examples of wordless books include The Snowman by Raymond Briggs or Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola. Have students write the sentences for each page using the pictures to help describe the character’s actions.
- Students can create character puppets based on the main and secondary characters in a read aloud. Have students work in small groups to act out the character’s actions in the story.