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Lesson Plan #:AELP-LIT0006
Author: Frances Vitali
School or Affiliation: Lake Valley Navajo School, NM
Endorsed by: These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teachers from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western United States, particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops. Date: May 1994

Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


  • Language Arts/Literature


Describing information about characters and/or events from a book or story.


Students can visualize a character or event from a story or book and then personalize it through drawings.


  • Students will develop a series of drawings about a story or book that was read by themselves, the teacher, or someone else.
  • Students will describe their drawings by writing a descriptive word, sentence or paragraph (depending on the grade level).
  • Students will impersonate characters and/or events through drama and role playing (Theater Games).
  • Students will decide on a character or scene and choose their own artistic medium to express a particular character constructing a three dimensional pirate ship; writing a poem or song about Captain Hook’s adventures, etc.
  • Materials:

    • Art paper (long)
    • crayons
    • felt tip markers
    • magic markers
    • colored pencils
    • regular pencils or paint and paint brushes

    Activities and Procedures: Either after or during a storytelling session, teacher/facilitator asks students about the characters in the story. What words would you use to describe Peter Pan? What is Captain Hook like?

    List the characters with their descriptions in Journals or on board. Once students are responding with opinions about the characters, they are ready to draw them.

    Distribute white or cream colored drawing paper (dimensions approximately 8x 16) to students. Students are asked to fold paper in half, then fourths (more, if needed). For younger students, pre-fold paper before distributing.

    Teacher/facilitator asks students to draw a picture of a character from their story or book remembering what he/she looked like from the words read about him/her including the descriptive words. Students then write a descriptive word, sentence or paragraph about the character underneath the picture.

    Another character from the story is drawn in the next space after the fold, continuing in this manner using both sides if needed.

    Students can use whatever drawing implements they wish: pencil, crayons, magic markers, felt tip pen, paint and paintbrush, etc.


    Students can make life size pictures of the characters to be on exhibit or to use in the retelling of the story. Themes and characters from history can also be used. Also caricatures of the characters can be explored. After the drawing sessions, students can pretend to be the different characters. The teacher/facilitator can suggest events or scenes for characters to perform. Students can role play a character and classmates will have to guess which character is being portrayed. (There are many possibilities here.)

    Tying It All Together:

    Students are able to develop stronger character identification through art and dramatization. Each activity reinforces the character in the mind of the student orally, visually and kinesthetically. Through reading or listening, character drawings and dramatic role playing, the personality of the character or scene comes alive.