After our reading of “Raymond’s Run”, I wanted to find a way to engage students in thinking about character that would also get them up and moving since they had been sitting and doing some quiet thinking/reading work for a few days. I decided to craft a new playlist station activity with a focus on character, and I crafted stations that included:
- Station 1: Notice and Note Signpost “Contrasts and Contradictions”
- Station 2: Choose your best HOTS questions from your reading reflections without repeating one that has already been posted on the dry erase board.
- Station 3: Character Focus STEAL–Speech
- Station 4: Character Focus STEAL–Thoughts
- Station 5: Character Focus STEAL-Effect on Others
- Station 6: Character Focus STEAL-Actions
- Station 7: Character Focus STEAL-Looks/Physical Appearance
- Station 8: Character Continuum Activity
- Station 9: Silent Table Talk (looking at Squeaky through a feminist lens)
I used this blank station template to design my station signs; I also purchased and used these marvelous STEAL thinking prompts to go with stations 3-7. You can access my playlist handout for students by clicking here.
I gave students a starting point for their stations, and then they could move on as they saw fit and choose their next station. I let them work at their own pace, and we completed the activity in two days. Students could work alone or with a partner; best of all, I could quickly see if students were struggling with their understanding of a concept because of the “checkpoints” built into each station with the playlist concept.
On Day 3, I used a variety of methods to bring it all together, including small group or partner talk to highlight what they felt were the most interesting insightful responses from each station across classes. We also followed up our discussion with a Kahoot story review before taking an open note, open story quiz in Canvas.
Students who finished early on Day 2 could work on Membean or read their library book. Though I have other fun and meaningful learning activities I’ve used in the past for generating thinking and discussion about characterization, this activity I designed seemed to be a good fit for where we were last week.