Are you looking for a quick lesson to reinforce the SGM or Braidy Character Map?
Have students each fill out a character map or work with a partner to fill out the map in an interview format:
Have a pattern for the petals of a flower (see completed version). Children trace the pattern, cut the petals, and then add one item from the map to each petal using as many as possible. Students should check off what they use after writing the traits on the petals, as this is great practice for writing those paragraphs later on! Have the stem and leaves cut out so the students then glue their individual flowers together. Add a baking cup to the center if you have some handy!
At this point, it would be fun to play a game: Have each child write his/her name on the back of each flower. Collect the flowers, read the characteristics, and play a guessing game. As the students guess the name of the “character” from the clues, write the name of the child on the front of the flower. With a few added details, this would create a nice bulletin board: “Characters in Bloom!”
Puzzle activity for older students: Print off and laminate a jigsaw puzzle template to use with this activity. The number of pieces depends on your students. Using the same format as above, ask each child to complete an SGM Character Map. Have them write one attribute from their completed maps on each puzzle piece and cut apart. Bag each puzzle in a baggie with the picture of the child or just the child’s name on the front. Exchange puzzles with partners, assemble, and then ask the pair to talk about the completed puzzles. This is a great way for students who have not worked together to get to know one another! Also, we have used this idea at parent nights at our school. The parent and child put the puzzle together and the child talks about his/her characteristics! Then, the parent takes the puzzle home as a remembrance of the evening.
This same type of activity could be used with the setting map. Give each child a picture (outdated calendars are a great resource for pictures!) and have them fill out a setting map with words that describe the picture. Cut the picture into puzzle pieces. Put the map and setting pieces into a baggie. Place the activity in a center and have the children review the setting map and think of what the picture may look like. A natural extension: A paragraph description could also be written by the students using the map for those students who are ready to do so. Then, have the students put together the puzzle to see how well they were able to visualize the setting!
Sheila Zagula works with MindWing Concepts in product development, drawing on her expertise and talents as well as many years of implementing the Story Grammar Marker® and related materials. Her teaching career spans thirty-eight years, most recently as literacy coach in the Westfield Massachusetts Public School System. Sheila has experience as an early childhood educator, a teacher of children with special needs, and a collaborative instructor within an inclusion framework serving children in grades K-5.