Character Beach Towel: Reading Response Exercise #95


Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.


Think about what you have read. What is the main character of your story like? What are his likes and dislikes? What are his favorite activities, things?

Suppose the main character of your story finally got a break from all that’s stressing her and she’s headed off to the beach, taking the brand new beach towel someone who knows and loves her well just gave her.


Design, draw including graphics and color, or describe your main character’s great new beach towel. Why is it so perfect for him or her?


Share your responses and explanations with your reading partners.

Post your pictures or descriptions here on the blog. Remember to include the title and author of your book so another reader can give it a try.


Characters New Year’s Resolutions: Fiction Reading Response Exercise #66

Happy new year and welcome back for another year of literate living!


Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.


Think about what you have read.


Choose a character from your reading. What would be a good new year’s resolution for this character? Explain why you think this. When you are done, share your responses with your reading partners.

Character Fear Diary: Reading Response Exercise #48:

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes. When you are done, think about what you have read.

Get out paper and pen or pencil. Imagine you are the main character from your reading and write a journal entry. Reflect on the following questions:

  • What are you most afraid or worried about?
  • What is making you anxious?
  • Describe the person, object, or event that bothers you.
  • Why are you worried, distressed, or afraid?
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen?
  • What do you hope will occur?
  • How do your fears and worries relate to the things that have happened so far?

If you were advising the character, what would you suggest he or she do to deal with these issues.

For Pre-readers:

Enjoy reading a story together.

When done, ask your pre-reader what was the biggest problem the main character had in the story. Discuss the problem and ask the child how he or she would have dealt with it. Then consider what might have happened next if the main character had taken the child’s approach.

Teacher’s File Drawer: Alternative Book Report—Character Scrapbook Book

As a teacher, and parent, I wanted my kids to read, and I didn’t want them to read just what I assigned them, I wanted them to read fiction they loved. However, as a teacher, that’s where the question of accountability kicks in. How can you tell the kids have really read a book they claim to have read? How can you make sharing what they read, and perhaps enticing others to try it, a fun exercise of literacy and other media skills? Enter, the alternative book report. I loved alternative book reports and plan to revisit this topic again and again.

Today, welcome the character-focused scrapbook. Here’s the assignment:

Create a Scrapbook

Imagine you are the main character in the novel you have recently enjoyed and create a scrapbook of that individual’s experiences.

The Criteria:

  1. Your scrapbook should be 8 pages in length (not counting the front and back covers) and use both sides of each page (with the exception of the back side of the title page).
  2. Your scrapbook should have a decorated cover that includes the character’s name, the title of the book you read, and the author’s name.
  3. Select or prepare your own drawings, clip art, or cut-outs from newspapers and magazines that relate to the main character’s experiences in the novel. Arrange them on your scrapbook’s pages. Be sure your artwork includes the use of color.
  4. Pretending you are the character, write a caption for each item.
  5. On the back cover of the scrapbook, write at least 3 paragraphs describing why you chose the pictures, materials, and decorations for your scrapbook that you did.
  6. Make an oral presentation before the class presenting your scrapbook and explaining how it relates to the book you read.

The Scrapbook Scoring Guide:

  • Created from the point of view of the main character (5)
  • 8 pages long using front and back sides, with the exception of the back side of the title page (8)
  • Cover:
  •           decorated (1)
  •           contains the main character’s name (1)
  •           contains the title and author of the book (1)
  • Art:
  •           at least one picture per page (1)
  •           artwork is neat and reflects effort in preparation (2)
  •           quality use of color (1)
  • Text:
  •           pictures are captioned (2)
  •           correct use of language conventions (2)
  •           description of process uses detail and supports ideas (4)
  • Oral Presentation:
  •           logical organization (2)
  •           rich ideas and content (2)
  •           appropriate language (2)
  •           engaging delivery (2)

Total points: 36

This project draws on inferential reading skills, requires the students to understand characterization and the impact of plot on character, and utilizes Bloom’s higher level synthesizing skills.

I so enjoyed seeing the scrapbooks my students created and so did their classmates. This was one set of oral presentations the rest of the class did not yawn through. All in all, the project was fun and I highly recommend it.

Reading Response Exercise #24: Character Valentines–Characterization

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes. When you are done, think about what you have read.

Pick two characters from your story.

Get out your colored paper, felt pens, glitter glue, stickers, whatever “crafty” materials you might have on hand. Make a valentine that you believe one of these characters might send to the other.

Share your valentine creation or write a written explanation describing why this valentine suits the character it is from and why it is the sort of valentine this character might send to the intended recipient.

For Pre-readers: let your little listener choose two characters and make a valentine as explained above. When he or she is done, ask the child to tell you about what he or she has made.

Reading Response Exercise #23: Character Breadcrumbs

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes. When you are done, think about what you have read.

What has your character had to leave behind in the journey of his or her story? What real, tangible things, what relationships, what emotional experiences? Which ones were they sorry to leave? Which ones were they glad to leave behind? Why would the character feel this way?

Write or discuss your response.

For Pre-readers: While reading together, stop at an appropriate part of the story and ask what the character has to let go of in order to proceed with the story.  At the end, ask how things have changed for the main character. Discuss the child’s answers.

Reading Response #15: Characterization

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes. When you are done, think about what you have read.

People of many faiths display ornaments or decorations at this time of year. Choose a character from your story and think about what kind of decoration or ornament might he or she might favor. Describe it and the reasons your character would like it. For any who might feel locked in by the faith angle, remember it does not have to be religious. Many people decorate with things that interest them. What kind of object would appeal to your character as a decoration for her bedroom, his cubicle, or her home?

Write or talk about your response. Share your responses with each and talk about what you are reading. A good story always make a good gift.

Reading Response #12: Connecting with Characters

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

When you are done, think about what you have read.

Select one character from your reading. What are three things this character would be grateful for if someone were to ask him or her at this point in your reading?

Of the three things your character would be grateful for, is there one that is similar to something you are grateful for in your own life? What is it? How is the thing you are grateful for similar or different from what the character would be grateful for?

Write down or discuss your responses.