Characterization with Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse


Teaching kids to think deeply starts with analyzing text elements. We do this by comparing and discussing characters, setting, plot, author's use of language, what we learn from our reading, and so much more. As we think about characterization, we also need to consider our kids' understanding of character language.

Introducing Characterization

When I am teaching characterization, I like to start with a listing of character traits. Sometimes, students struggle to read and understand them, so working with the words and building understanding through examples is key. It is not too difficult to find lists of traits to use with lessons, and I always include a list in my kids' interactive notebooks for reference throughout the year.

Modeling with Lilly

Explore characterization with one great character! Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse is a great mentor text for characterization. Freebie included.For a characterization lesson using Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, you'll want to begin with modeling [THIS POST] by my friend, Jenn from Reading in Room 11 on Adventures in Literacy Land offers great teaching options for characterization. I love the organizers she shared within her post and I highly recommend you hop over to check it out.
what character traits are and what we observe to identify them is important.

With my kids, I talk about positive and negative behaviors. Characterization lends itself to a discussions of being a friend and behaviors we like to see at school. This concept sort is one I've used for discussions. I like to pair the kids, let them work through the list of words to decide whether they are positive or negative, and why they place them where they do. This gets the kids talking and engaged.

Linking to Literature

Explore characterization with one great character! Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse is a great mentor text for characterization. Freebie included.
Now, this is the point where I bring in the books. One of the best ways to make a concept stick is with real examples. Lilly is a character indeed! Not only does she have observable outside traits, but her behaviors demonstrate inside characters. Throughout the book, there are great teaching points, and the teacher can also show character change from positive to negative and back. 



Extended Learning Options

Extend the fun with Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse with this book companion. It includes before, during, after activities with a comprehension focus.
Love Lilly? Love Kevin Henkes? Well, you might be interested in the book companion I created to use with Lilly. Afterall, this book can be reread or completed with partners or in small group to address other reading skills. This unit includes:

  • schema building
  • vocabulary
  • making predictions
  • making connections
  • sequencing events
  • character traits
  • story elements
  • questioning/discussion task cards
  • writing about reading
  • and a final class book project (Facts About Me)

Kevin Henkes Author Study

This bundle includes materials for five of Kevin Henkes' best books. Each includes before/during/after activities as well as writing extensions.In addition to the Lilly unit, I also have five other Kevin Henkes book units. They are formatted similarly with a comprehension focus. For a detailed look at each, click the image to the left. Books included in the bundle are:
Chrysanthemum
A Weekend with Wendell
Owen
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, and
Wemberly Worried
Enjoy the weekend readers, and be sure to check back regularly this month for other fun surprises.

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Extend the fun with Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse with this book companion. It includes before, during, after activities with a comprehension focus.

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