Choosing Characters

The sequence described in the poster below starts with the creation of an image, and as we know there are two ways to create an image, one with the class (class created image – CCI – or one word image), the other by individuals (individually created image – ICC). I was asked which of the two ways to create an image in the natural approach/Invisibles system is the best. In my experience the individually created characters make a better story. I just follow the steps to make sure that the kids have put in the time to really take pride in their drawings. I have a point system I use to choose the one we end up using. (It is a source of immense pride to have theirs chosen.) I give ten points – four for the quality of the image and six for the quality and cohesiveness of each of the six prompts they answer on the back of the image. I want a cohesive, well thought out character. Then I get the class into groups of two to choose the best, then groups of four to choose the best of those two, then eventually two get to me and I stand there and ceremoniously pick the one of the two finalists that I like best, feel like working with, and off we go into the story. By doing it this way, the kids know that if they want to get one of their ICCs into a story, they better make a good character. I will say in general terms that after writing PLC articles here for over ten years I am so happy that we are finally talking about making CI work in our classrooms based on a flexible system and not guesswork.

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