Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Character Thoughts Graphic Organizer

I am excited about the increase in novels now available for students learning a second language.  In my opinion, novels can be a teacher's best friend in providing comprehensible, compelling input (but be sure to choose a book that is at the students' level). 

The novel Bianca Nieves is a great book to study relationships (as well as Spain's culture and bullfighting). My students are keeping notes on evidence of relationships throughout the novel that are strained or that are outright hostile!

I appreciate that Carrie Toth, the author, has not shied away from using the subjunctive throughout the book. At this level, (Spanish 4), I welcome every opportunity to model the use of subjunctive in daily conversations and discussions.  It is important that students understand how commonplace the subjunctive is from children's storybooks to novels.

One way to model the subjunctive in context, is to ask students to provide the thoughts of a character in a book, stating what she liked or didn't like about a situation or about what another character is/was doing. I used the graphic organizer pictured above, after reading chapter 5 of Bianca Nieves, for students to get creative with Bianca's true thoughts on what is happening in her life.  

Exploring a character's thoughts can also be accomplished by asking the students to write journal entries in the character's viewpoint.  However, the advantage to the thought bubbles, as shown in the picture above, over a journal entry is the limited space for each thought on the graphic organizer. (In my experience, students are more willing to write a few sentences in thought bubbles than having to organizer their thoughts in paragraph form.)

I'm also currently reading La Calaca Alegre, also written by Carrie Toth, with another class. I am making a similar graphic organizer for the thoughts of Carlos, "los pensamientos de Carlos".

Two copies of the pdf of the pictured document are available if you have use for them:
Click HERE for the pdf of Bianca in black and white, empty thought bubbles.

Click HERE for the color pdf of Bianca, empty thought bubbles.

      On the left is another organizer that I used with my students with the story "Jack y las habichuelas mágicas".  
1. I downloaded the story from THIS website.  
2. I read the story to my students.
3. We talked about Jack's thoughts using phrases:
-Me gusta que..
-No es justo que...
-Espero que...
-Es raro que...

4. We also talked about the giant's thoughts, fears, what angers him, etc.
No grade; a lot of input (plus the benefit of reading with the story about Jack)

The final piece is an assessment. Please note, however, that this is not the first time we have discussed how a character feels about the actions of another character in a book or story. Also, when students talk about their weekends, I sometimes tell them to add something that isn't the truth so we can DOUBT something that the person did or usually does on weekends.  The students have had a LOT of input on this!

5. I distributed the above sketch with thought bubbles and students wrote the mother's thoughts. I provided a few prompts (similar to what is listed in #3) that I wrote on the board for the students. 

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