I believe firmly in giving students a choice in what they read, because of this belif, my students are assigned a monthly novel/book project. During the month of October, the students were completing a novel study in class. My honors classes were reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and my regular students were reading Max the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. As we read and critiqued these novels we focused on the elements of fiction (plot, setting, conflict, characterization, etc.). One aspect we specifically studied was direct and indirect characterization. Since this was all completed in class through direct instruction or by working with a small group, I wanted the students to practice and apply these skills on their own. Hence the Paper Slide project was born. Each student selected a novel of their choice to read. As they read the novel they kept notes about the author's use of direct and indirect characterization. After reading the novel and completing their notes the students had to select five adjectives that represented their character both directly and indirectly. Each adjective had to be supported with strong textual evidence that showed the author's use of direct and indirect characterization. The students then created a Paper Slide show to highlight the selected adjectives in reference to the author's use of characterization.
Characterization Paper Slide guidelines
This project meets the modification stage of the SAM-R model. It could have been completed using only paper and pen, but the students had to modify their work in order to film their slide show. Without the video element of this assignment the students would not have been able to share their work with their classmates.