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Story Sequencing and Character Traits

Context for this Lesson

Teaching Strategies: 
School or Organization: 

Topic: Story Sequencing and Character Traits

Purpose: To explore the different parts of a story and how a character's actions in a story reveal their character traits.

Prior Knowledge: Parts of a story, familiarity with The Three Little Pigs

Materials: 3 large images from The Three Little Pigs (beginning, middle and end)


Artifact: Images 

"I was going to tell you a story today, but on my way here I dropped my pictures and now they’re out of order! I’ve heard that you are all very good at telling stories. Do you think if I share these pictures with you, that maybe we could put the story back in order together?"
Present the students with the three pictures. 
Describe: What do you see in this picture? What characters do you see?
Analyze: What is happening in this picture? 
Relate: Does anyone have an idea of what story this might be? Do you think you could help me tell the story?
Work together as a class to decide on the order of the pictures. Once the pictures are in order, retell the story of The Three Little Pigs with the help of the students, encourage the students to repeat the refrains with you: 
WOLF: Little pig, little pig, let me in! 
PIG 1/2/3: Not by the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin.
WOLF: Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down! (Wolf huffs and puffs and blows house down!)
Ask: "Who are the main characters in this story?" List the main characters on the board. Brainstorm different character traits (adjectives and emotions) for each character. "How would you describe the pigs/wolf? What did that character do in the story to make you think that?" Write these traits on the board next to the characters.
"Now that we’re experts on the story and the characters we are going to become actors. We’re going to bring this story to life using our bodies."

Character Statues 

1. Ask each student to stand up in their own space, next to their desks. We are going to use our bodies to create frozen pictures of each character.
2. Choose a character and an emotion/adjective from the list we brainstormed (ex: Scary Wolf). Practice freezing in three counts: "3-2-1, Freeze! Now we are going to be a scary wolf, can you show me that with your body in 3-2-1-Freeze!" Reflect aloud some of the things you see the students doing that are interesting/dynamic.
3. Encourage students to shake that character out of their bodies and get ready to become a new character.
4. Create a few more character statues.
"Now that we’ve explored the different characters in our story, we are going to explore the three different parts of our story and how the characters acted in each moment. Let’s look at our images again."
Beginning, Middle and End Image Work 
1. Have students sit in an audience, with room for a “stage” space.
2. Show the first image of the beginning of the story. "What do we need to create this image with our bodies? We can be characters or even objects to bring the scene to life." 
3. Build the image one student at a time. Thoughts out loud: put your hand above one character’s head and ask audience "what they might be thinking?"
4. Build all three images, beginning, middle and end.

Describe: What did we do in this activity?

Analyze: Did we learn anything new about the characters when we made the frozen pictures with our bodies? Did we learn anything new about the character’s emotions throughout the story?
Relate: How did acting out the story help us remember the sequence of beginning, middle and end? Why was it important that we created our frozen images in the correct sequence?