Readers learn about different characters as they are developed within a chapter book or novel. Students can demonstrate their deep understanding of main characters by creating a Character Collage. Usually done after reading, students reflect on a character’s unique physical and emotional features, his qualities, habits, and personality.
Provide a variety of print sources (e.g., catalogs, magazines, newspapers, etc.). Working independently or within a group, challenge students to cut out images or words to fit different categories:
- Reveal the physical features of what the character looks like.
- Reveal gestures and body language representing how the character moved, traveled, and/or stood.
- Represent qualities and character traits of this individual.
- Portray facial expressions that coincide with the character’s attitude(s).
- Represent this character’s motivation and what he/she wants.
Students can add labels or captions to the images to clarify their thinking. Here’s a high school example on Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.
[NOTE: This same after-reading activity could be done by inserting clip-art images into a Word document. Check out the same information on Atticus Finch using digital clip-art.]
For primary students, consider paring down the list of required elements and suggest they build a collage based on a character they learn about within a book series (e.g., Fancy Nancy, Arthur, Junie B. Jones).