By third grade teachers Kristen Zimmer, Nicole Robinson, and Leslie Weinheimer. Photos by Sammy Prugsamatz.
We are nearing the end of our second reading unit, where third graders have been participating in fiction book clubs and getting to know their characters like friends. The books students have read feature complex and diverse characters that allow third graders to do the essential (and long-term) thinking work of inference, prediction, and connection. Readers have been closely studying characters’ behavior to look for patterns and understand what motivates them. Students are also discovering that as characters grow and change, the problems those characters encounter in the story evolve.
This past week, we launched a culminating project for the character unit. Third graders worked in groups to plan and create either a bedroom diorama or a digital book on Bookcreator to introduce their character to the class and share what they have learned about them. Groups needed to include what they learned about their character’s personality traits, hobbies and interests, the significance of secondary characters, and some of the important events of the story. They were very excited about the collaboration and creativity involved in this project.