Post-it Note Project
While there are many ways to learn about character traits, representing the information in a visual way makes it easier for your child to compare the traits of various characters. This helps to build a deeper meaning of the story later on.
What You Need:
- A good book to curl up with
- Piece of paper
- Post-it notepad
- Large piece of paper or poster board
- Crayons, colored pencils, or medium of your child's choosing
What You Do:
- Begin a general discussion about character traits, by asking your child to describe you. Write these descriptions down, or have your child write them down. Ask your child how she knows these things about you? If your child only points out visual descriptions, explain that she can also describe what you do, what you think, what you say and (often more important!) how you say it.
- Look at the character traits you’ve written down and go over them with your child, identifying whether the traits were physical descriptions, actions, or memories of things you’ve said or done.
- Explain to your child that she can also learn things about the characters in the stories she reads, by noticing physical descriptions of the characters, their actions, their conversations with other characters, and their personal thoughts. Have your child begin reading the story. Early on in the story have her pick one of the characters. While she reads, ask her to place a post-it note on every page that reveals something about the character. On the post-it, ask your child to write down the character trait that is revealed on that page. By the end of the story, your child will have accumulated numerous words, thoughts, and actions with which to assemble a complete description of one of the characters in the story.
- Conclude the exercise with a fun art project: using what your child already knows about the character from her post-its, encourage her to think about what the character might do or say right after the book ends. Then, border a large piece of paper with the post-it notes, and inside draw a picture of that new scene using whatever medium she wants.