Partners use clues from a bag to cooperatively develop a mystery character and produce a PowerPoint about that character.
traits, protagonist, antagonist, character
Prior to this lesson, students should
Prepare in advance paper bags -- one bag for each pair of students -- that contain a variety of items that belong to a "mystery character." The bag might include a wide variety of everyday and unique items. Some items in the bag might include cosmetics, newspapers, magazine articles, airline or movie ticket stubs, photographs of people or places, a music CD, grooming materials, keys, a candy wrapper, a crayon, a slip of paper with a first name and phone number written on it, a recipe, an empty soda can, a parking ticket, a check made out to them, a rubber band, a keychain with no keys on it, a receipt from a grocery store or a fast-food restaurant (If you are stuck for a long list of items, you might even brainstorm in advance with students a list of nouns/things that might be found in students' pockets/purses or in a "junk drawer" at home. No need to tell them why they're brainstorming these items; just tell them they will know within a few days; they'll find out when this activity is done.)
Students should be assigned a partner with whom they will create a "mystery character." Provide each pair of students with a brown bag containing items that belong to that character. Invite students to search through the contents of the bag and to make a list of the items they found.
Once students have had a chance to delve through the bag's contents, challenge them to discuss with their partner who the character could be. How might each item in the bag play into that person's life? Is the character a male or female? What are the character's interests? What type of food does he or she like? Where does the character live? What does s/he do for work? What's going on in the person's life right now? What kind of personality does the "mystery character" have? How does the character act?... They can discuss other things they might be interested in knowing about a "mystery character" too.
Older students' questions/discussion about the character might be more sophisticated. They might want to know... Is the character a protagonist or antagonist? What important event happens to the character? What is the character's relationship with his or her family like?...
Use PowerPoint to create a presentation about the "mystery character." (The teacher might provide a template for students to use. The template might include some of the leading questions you gave students to think about, e.g., those questions listed above.)
AssessmentInformal: Assess student-pairs' discussion, participation, and questioning.
1. Content is well organized; headings or bulleted lists are used to group related material.
2. Made excellent use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc., to enhance the presentation. 3. Presentation was interesting, well rehearsed with smooth delivery that held audience's attention. 4. Four or more descriptive words were used to describe the character. 5. Presentation contained no misspellings or grammatical errors. 6. Students listened intently; did not make distracting noises or movements. 7. Partners worked cooperatively with no need for adult intervention.
0= not present
You might create a rubric to assess student work, effort, and presentation that uses/combines elements from these rubrics found online:
Submitted by Miranda Babin, Southdown Elementary School, Houma, Louisiana
Copyright © 2010 Education World