ERIC Number: ED488981
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May
What a Character! Character Study as a Guide to Literary Meaning Making in Grades K?8
Roser, Nancy L., Ed.; Martinez, Miriam G., Ed.; Yokota, Junko; O'Neal, Sharon
International Reading Association (NJ3)
Bring text and its meaning alive for students! This collection offers the perspectives of classroom teachers, researchers, and children's book authors, including award-winners Kate DiCamillo and Katherine Paterson. Together, they share their thoughts on the power of character study and how to use it to guide elementary-and middle-grade students through creating, reading, and comprehending text. The contributors evaluate character-rich books and offer instructional strategies that will help teachers become a more insightful as they implement character study in their classroom. The book begins with a Preface entitled "Why Character?" (Nancy L. Roser, Miriam G. Martinez), and a section on Contributors. The book is then divided into five parts. Part I, "The Importance of Character" includes the following chapters: (1) "The Centrality of Character" (Donald H. Graves); and (2) "Students' Developing Understanding of Character" (Miriam G. Martinez, Nancy L. Roser). Part II, "Creating Characters" includes chapters: (3) "Hey, Character, Where Did You Come From?" (Katherine Paterson); (4) "Finding My Own Stories, My Own Characters" (Deborah Wiles); (5) "Character is the Engine" (Kate DiCamillo); (6) "The Power of Small Moments" (Kimberly Willis Holt); (7) "The Shades of Character" (Franny Billingsley); (8) "Characters Crossing the Line" (Edward Bloor); and (9) "The Poet as Creator of Character" (Nikki Grimes). Part III, "Supporting Children's Understanding of Characters" includes chapters: (10) "Students Write Their Understanding of Characters--and Their Understanding Soars" (Marjorie R. Hancock); (11) "Exploring Characters Through Drama" (Lee Galda); (12) "Exploring Character Through Readers Theatre" (Susan Keehn, Miriam G. Martinez, Nancy L. Roser); (13) "Exploring Character Through Visual Representations" (Caitlin McMunn Dooley, Beth Maloch); and (14) "Enhancing the Literature Experience Through Deep Discussions of Character" (Karen Smith). Part IV, "The Best of Character-Rich Books" includes chapters: (15) "Looking Closely at Characters: How Illustrations Support Children's Understandings" (Lawrence P. Sipe, Maria Paula Ghiso); (16) "Bringing the Best of Characters Into Primary Classrooms" (Junko Yokota, William H. Teale); and (17) "Bringing the Best Characters Into Middle School Classrooms" (Janis M. Harmon, Terri Willeford, Michelle S. Kenney). Part V, "Character Redux" includes chapter (18) "Toward a Theory of Character in Children's Fiction" (Maria Nikolajeva). The following are also included: (1) Conclusion: "Where Do We Go From Here?" (Miriam G. Martinez, Nancy L. Roser); (2) Author Index; and (3) Subject Index.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Writing Instruction, Childrens Literature, Reading Instruction, Reading Comprehension, Poetry, Writing (Composition), Literary Devices, Drama, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Illustrations, Fiction, Visual Aids
International Reading Association, Headquarters Office, 800 Barksdale Rd., P.O. Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139. Tel: 800-336-7323 (Toll Free); Fax: 302-731-1057.
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A