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Females in the Spotlight: Strong Characters in Picture Books
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Three 40-minute sessions|
Students practice critical thinking skills as they identify character traits displayed by strong female protagonists in selected texts. The teacher first models the process through a read-aloud of The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie de Paola. Students then read additional titles and work in small groups to distinguish character traits that contributed to their understanding of the main characters. Using the online Character Trading Cards tool, each student creates a trading card to share with classmates. Suggested discussion questions encourage students to make personal connections with the text and examine the evolution of their own attitudes toward strong female characters.
Giorgis, C., Johnson, N., Colbert, C., Conner, A., King, J., & Kulesza, D. (2000). Children's Books: Characters. The Reading Teacher, 53(6), 518–527.
- Authors use words to create characters within text. The reader comes to know a character through the author's description of the character's appearance and actions and through dialogue or monologue.
- Characters are often memorable because the author portrays them as unique; many times this evokes an emotional response from the reader.
- Strong female characters are admirable because of "their ability to solve problems, overcome adversity, and persevere when circumstances within society present overwhelming obstacles" (p. 521).