Giant Character Maps

My Middles really respond to GIANT anything. Giant sunshades, my giant Day of the Dead masks, the giant sombrero just out of their reach. Giant character maps are no exception. I love to use this activity during a novel study to help students examine the characters AND to hit those higher order thinking skills. Martina Bex shared this free resource on her blog (you can read the post here).  These half sheet maps come in really handy so I keep them in stock for choice board options, time gap activities, or plain old Plan B. To make GIANT versions I modeled after Martina/Laurie’s design by blowing each component up to the size of a full sheet of paper. I like to copy the thought bubble, heart and speech bubble on pretty paper and the person on white paper so that it can be modified according to the novel’s description.

These photos are from last year’s novel study of Pobre Ana that I did with my Spanish I students. This activity took up about half the period (we read the rest of class) and started as my students walked in the door. I handed my students lettered cards (of various colors) to really mix up the groups. The letters on each card corresponded to one of the characters in the novel and tied into the warm up activity where I had my students describe their assigned character in Spanish. Then I had them find their groups and gave them a packet of the pages for their map. I used my document camera to project Martina’s character map with the sentence starters and made sure that each group included a problem the character faced and a possible solution. As each element was finished it was glued to a BIG sheet of paper. The final touch was to modify the person by adding hair, clothes, etc.  We hung the maps in the hallway and did a gallery walk the next day followed by a timed writing.

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