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Lesson Plan

Using Picture Books to Teach Characterization in Writing Workshop

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Using Picture Books to Teach Characterization in Writing Workshop

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Sharon Roth

Sharon Roth

Urbana, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives





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Story Map

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Story Map

The Story Map interactive is designed to assist students in prewriting and postreading activities by focusing on the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution.


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  • Use this activity when you observe students who are interested in revising their writing but need specific guidance. Instead of multiple writing conferences on developing more complex characters, you can hold a focus-lesson with a group or all students invited to attend.

  • Before beginning this activity, students should write a piece of writing, which will be the object of their revisions.

  • Review Picture Books that Illustrate Well-Developed Characters and collect texts that will be used for the lesson. This lesson uses the book Doņa Flor by Pat Mora (Knopf, 2005) as an example, but you can use any book from the list.

  • Make copies or an overhead transparency of the Three Elements of Characterization handout.

  • Test the Story Map student interactive on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tool and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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