The Missouri Reader Vol. 40, Issue 3 - Page 41


My students worked so hard during this unit that I really wanted them to be able to celebrate these characters in a fun way. Routman (2003) states, “The literacy tasks we ask students to do impacts their motivation

for learning and their views of literacy. Authentic reading and writing in which students have some challenge, choice, control, and opportunity to collaborate motivate students most” (p. 204). Students were asked to pick one of their favorite characters from any of their books. They were then told that they could depict their character however they wanted. They could dress like their character, make their character out of clay, or do a mobile - the sky was the limit. Next they would present the character to the class and tell everyone what they learned from their character and how they connected with them. My students were so excited and dove right in! Countless mobiles hung in class that day. Children dressed up and were ready to conquer the word as Captain Underpants or blow down houses as the Big Bad Wolf. We watched two little movie productions and checked out an underwater diorama. I was so impressed with their creativity and engagement!

These characters really made their way into the hearts of my students and I could not be more elated! When characters are brought to life, they have the ability to spark a true and lasting enjoyment for reading.


Calkins, L. (2015). Meeting characters and learning lessons: A study of story elements. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Serravallo, J. (2015). The reading strategies book: Your everything guide to developing skilled readers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Routman, R. (2003). Reading essentials: The specifics you need to teach reading well. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Michelle Martignoni is a first grade teacher at Wren Hollow Elementary School in the Parkway School District, St. Louis County, Missouri. She is a student in the Master’s Literacy program at Missouri State University.

Lit Look

--President Tammy Rhomberg and the MSC Board