Who is this person?

We finished reading “Thank You, Ma’am” a while ago, but my world got turned upside down for a variety of reasons (more on that another day) and I haven’t made the time to write. Even though that was something I told myself I would definitely do this year. I guess I continue to be a work in progress. This is a great lesson in how setting goals doesn’t matter if you don’t make a plan about how to reach them. ...I’m working on THAT, too.

The students were engaged in our discussion of “Thank You, Ma’am” and connected with the characters and story.

Our first reading was focused on tracking our thinking using the annotation marks we came up with together from the “Reading is Thinking” notebook insert that I talked about here.

For the second reading, we reviewed some character traits and feelings (I downloaded this notebook insert from... somewhere...) and added them to our notebook. With that in mind, we read through the text with a focus on the kind of people the characters showed themselves to be through actions and what the author said about them. Once we were done reading, we added Roger and Ms. Luella Bates Washington Jones to our characterization chart and marked which characteristics each one had.

Blank chart

My goal is that we will continue to add characters or people from articles to this characterization chart throughout the year. In time, we can start to compare and contrast characters and people and write on how they would make different decisions, etc. But that’s for the future!

Based on what we knew about these characters and the kind of people they are, I had the students choose one decision from the text and analyze the other option the character had and explain what they ended up doing. The guided insert goes right into their reader’s notebook.

Overall, I was really impressed with their work. They were being thoughtful and focused in their reading and sticking to the text for their evidence. They read a piece of writing they wouldn’t generally be expected to read at this level and dug deep to find meaning in it. It was clear they “got it” when we moved on to our next activity. STAY TUNED!

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