Character development is a common skill for upper elementary students, and one of the best ways to teach character change and character traits is through literature. In this post, I’m going to share a gem of a book I discovered last spring along with teaching ideas. It is one of the featured books on Storyline Online and guess who reads it? Oprah! You can almost hear her voice already, can’t you? Well, your students will surely hang on every word, and hopefully, they’ll learn about character change and development too!
Introducing the Main Character:
Well, I do not know about you, but the hula hoop brings back memories. I swear I tried to get the hang of it, but let me tell you. Kameeka definitely has it going on much more than I ever did. She and her friends, Jamara and Portia, battle each other to be the hula hoopin’ queen of 139th Street. But, on the day of the hula hoopin’ contest, it’s Miz Adeline that becomes the queen.
This book is so fun. I love the way the author reflects the personality of her characters through the dialogue and illustrations. Your students will love listening to Oprah read it too.
Read Aloud with Oprah
Boom Cards are so helpful for guiding discussion, for review lessons, for literacy stations, for group and partner work, and for independent practice. This resource is best used AFTER you have read the book. I recommend beginning your lesson by building an anchor chart with your students that explains what character traits are and why it’s important to observe the character’s words, actions, and thoughts. As you read the story, pause and record text examples. Then, before you use the Boom Card deck, talk about Kameeka and the other characters in the story.
Character Change Resource:
Starting an Account on Boom Learning:
In order to use this resource, the first step is to open an account at boomlearning.com. They are free unless you want data on your students’ performance, but in my opinion, it’s well worth the $30 rate!
Once you’ve set up your account, then you’ll want to open the link and add it to your library. When you’re ready to use the resource, you’ll go to your library, find the resource, and use the drop down menu to get the Fast Pin link (for free account) or assign the resource to your students in your class tab.
This deck of Boom Cards includes a variety of comprehension questions focused on the story elements, characters, and themes. After the discussion section, I included a Character Traits chart using Mulan as an example. You can discuss how Mulan’s character changed across the movie before moving on to Kameeka’s character. Students will drag and drop traits according to the part of the story when she displayed them. The resource concludes with slides for sequencing events and extended responses. This resource would be best for grades 2-4.
To purchase, click the image below:
Other Mentor Text Lessons:
The Reading Crew is a group of literacy bloggers, and for years, we’ve been hosting mentor text blog hops. If you are looking for a lesson for your favorite title or for a specific skill, you should follow this board. All of the posts shared today will be added to it for you to visit later.
Other Character Focused Posts on My Site:
- Teaching Characterization with Mentor Texts
- How to Teach Characterization in Less Time
- Exploring Characterization with Strega Nona and Big Anthony
- Characterization with Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse
Teaching character traits and character change is done best through quality literature. I hope you find this and the other posts helpful no matter whether you’re teaching remotely or in person.