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Close Reading with Group 405

Reading books of their own choosing is an important experience for children of all ages as they develop the lifelong love of reading that characterizes a VCS graduate. Of course, whether you are reading for fun or for an assignment, it’s important to be a close reader, paying attention to the choices made by the author and the way information is communicated to the reader. At the beginning of the year, 3rd/4th Graders in Group 405 worked with their Homeroom Teacher and our Head Librarian to select age-appropriate books of personal interest to them, and as they have been enjoying their independent reading books, students have marked particular passages in which character traits of the protagonist are revealed through dialogue, thoughts or actions.

This week, Group 405 students used those notes to reflect on what they know about the main character of their independent reading book so far. They created mini-posters depicting a portrait of the protagonist as well as a list of character traits, with specific examples from the text to support their analysis.

This activity provided students with an understanding of the many different ways writers communicate information to their readers, and was an excellent opportunity to practice using and spelling new vocabulary words like “gullible” and “obnoxious.” Perhaps even more importantly, 3rd/4th Graders may begin to notice, as they read on, how the very character traits they identified in their protagonist not only make them compelling to read about, but can actually drive the action of the story’s plot.