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Monday, February 20, 2012

School Bell: Television Teaching... characters

In many places this is the start of the school vacation week.  In many homes there will be more television viewing than usual. But, this doesn't mean you can't continue to use television as a teaching tool. On February xx I talked about using television to teach the skill of summarizing and even note-taking.  Today I want to talk about using it to teach the literature concept of characters and description to boost your child's reading skills. If you have a child with learning disabilities that make reading a struggle, this will let them work with literature concepts beyond their reading level abilities but well within their understanding. 

TV Hint Two:  Characters and Description

1. Identifying the main character/s and their purpose in the story:
--Talk during commercial breaks about which actors/characters are the "main" characters.  --Who is the hero, good person  [for older kids... the protagonist]? 
--Who is the villain, problem person [antagonist]? 

2. Identifying supporting characters and minor characters:
--Talk about characters that were not the most important, but who helped make things happen, improve, or get worse? [ex: the best friend, the annoying person, the silly person, the family, etc.] These are supporting characters that the story needed.
--What actors were just minor characters to fill out the story scene [ex: students in a school scene, diners in a restaurant, etc.] These characters usually don't make much difference to the story except to make it seem real.

3. Analyzing and describing characters:
--Ask them to pick a character and describe that character as many ways as possible... first physically, then by their behavior, their moods, their actions, etc. 
--Talk about which characters would be good friends, people who could help, people who should be avoided in real life.

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