Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's in a Name?

What an amazingly long week this has been! Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday... and early release for my district. I wanted to share a reading lesson that worked really well for me today with my third graders. All week long we have been working on drawing conclusion, making inferences and making predictions as well as being able to figure things out about a character. So I modified a lesson that I had heard about being used for writing.

First I wrote four "signatures" on the board. Then I asked the students to look at the signatures and use what they already know to draw conclusions, make inferences, and make predictions about who these characters are. I asked for three ideas about each character, and then they could draw what they thought one character looked like.

I got some great responses like Sandy being a girly girl, pretty, and friendly. I also had some students who concluded she was popular, stuck-up, and mean. I was able to point out that because of knowledge we already have, sometimes our conclusions are different even if we have the same clues.

The students were able to predict age of the characters and even infer some interests. Most concluded that Sandy and Rex were somewhere between 10 and 15; Mary was a grown-up; and David was a child. And many thought Rex was into dinosaurs because of his name and the Jurassic Park-like font I used.

It was a really fun activity that brought home using clues and your own knowledge to draw conclusions, make inferences, and make predictions.


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