Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mentor Monday Linky-Analyzing Characters

This week, my friend Wendy, from Read With Me ABC, is guest blogging for Emily at The Reading Tutor/OG. Analyzing characters is the topic, and this is one that very timely for me since my first graders are currently working on this. 

We just created a chart in my first grade classroom that describes how readers analyze character traits. The "outside" traits are the ones we can see with our eyes. The "inside" traits are the ones we have to infer through a character's actions and dialogue. When discussing both "inside" and "outside" character traits with my students, they said that they like finding evidence for the "inside" traits because they have to do more thinking. They are so smart! 

Tomorrow, we will continue our analysis of Horton from both "Horton Hatches the Egg" and "Horton Hears a Who" as we gather evidence from each text to analyze his character traits. 

Aside from Horton, here are two of my favorite characters that I believe every primary teacher needs to become familiar with:

Scaredy Squirrel is a very anxious and very lovable character from the Scaredy Squirrel series by Melanie Watt. He is scared about EVERYTHING, and he rarely leaves his tree for fear of the unknown. My colleague, Lisa, introduced this, as the series below, to me. Your students will LOVE Scaredy Squirrel and will connect with him!

Chester is another character in a series also by Melanie Watt. He is mischievous and full of himself, but so funny! He and Melanie Watt actually go against each other in these books. Your students will be fascinated with his antics!

I am so thankful to my colleague, Lisa, for introducing me to these two amazing characters! 

I can't wait to learn about other great characters. Don't forget to link up using the link at the beginning of this post. 

In one week, I will be hosting an online book club for "The Daily Five", Second Edition. Don't forget to order your copy today, and check back next Monday. I'm excited!


  1. Hi Jen! Thanks for linking up and sharing two great books for character traits. I love using the terms 'outside' and 'inside' traits for the younger readers. They totally get it then! I'm excited for your book study. I'll be back next Monday for sure. :)
    Read With Me ABC

  2. Jen,
    I love the "inside" and "outside" thinking that your kiddos are doing! It is awesome that you are starting them with this inferring at such a young age so they can be fantastic readers and thinkers.

    Krista Mahan
    Teaching Momster

  3. What an adorable blog! This is my first visit, and I love your analogy for inside/outside traits. I've used inside/outside circles for brainstorming, but I think the organizer could fit this too for older readers. I LOVE Scaredy Squirrel!