Reading is a gift! Books truly make the best gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Brave Irene by William Steig is no exception. Are you looking for the perfect picture book to teach perseverance? Well this is it! I came across this little beauty of a PB years ago, and instantly fell in love with it. Irene has many insurmountable challenges facing her as she struggles to deliver a ball gown to the Duchess for her sick mother through a terrible storm (on foot no less!). Your students will hang onto every word and wonder, “Will she make it?”
My freebie is a unit focusing on teaching character traits, point of view, personification and the art of personal narrative writing. The character graph included in this pack is one of my favorite tools to use for listening comprehension and building vocabulary. Here’s how I’ve used it:
- First, I handed a graph out to each student before I begin reading the book aloud to the class. At the rug they’d each have a clipboard, graph and pencil. (maybe a crayon or colored pencil)
- I ask students to listen carefully to the events in the story.
- Every time they think a character displays that character trait, they shade in a box on the graph next to that trait.
- I remind them to be selective. Some traits fit a character better than others, depending on the event.
- Taking this a step further, I’ve made blank character trait graphs where I fill in 7-8 words from a large list of character traits. (I always like a large poster sized list to display).
- I may include some traits that would definitely be the antithesis of the character’s actions just to mix it up. That way I can use it with any book. You wouldn’t believe how well they pay attention to the story! They will hang onto every word…trust me! Plus they love to see which character trait “wins”.
The beauty of this activity is it opens up serious vocabulary discussion (which is a great comprehension builder), and a chance for them to locate and discuss specific examples from the story. This is a lot different than the typical open response format we assign on a regular basis.
You’ll find most of these activities I created will fit nicely with your shared reading or interactive read aloud sessions. I strongly encourage you to look at the list of suggested books in the back of my freebie and do some paired read alouds. Snow Walker, for instance, is a great match with Brave Irene, but check out others like The Chiru of High Tibet. Animals persevere too! Check my Pinterest board “Hooray! More Books” if you’re ever looking for more book suggestions.
After completing the activities in this unit, your students will have a chance to brainstorm, plan and write about a time they had to persevere. A sample writing prompt is included to model exemplar writing. If you have a free minute, I hope you’ll take it to leave me feedback and follow my store. I would greatly appreciate it! Click the picture of my freebie or the link below it to download.
Don’t stop now! Hop on over to Luckeyfrog’s Lilypad to pick up another amazing reading gift! Happy Holidays!