Saturday, August 21, 2010

Making Connections to a Character's Emotions

A Bad Case of Stripes   [BAD CASE OF STRIPES] [Paperback]
 A Bad Case of Stripes is a story about Camilla Cream, a young girl who is getting ready for the first day of school. Camilla is so concerned about what others will think of her that she breaks out into a bad case of stripes. Things go from bad to worse when Camilla changes in reaction to her classmates laughing and teasing. Experts are brought in to cure her, but nothing seems to work until...

A Bad Case of Stripes is a wonderful book for having students reflect on and make connections to similar situations or emotions in their own lives. This story is a good way to introduce the concept of how important it is to be yourself, and how other people treat us does influence our behavior.

Multi-tab Connecting to Feelings Foldable® 

In this activity, students make connections to the main character's emotions during the story. This helps students to understand more deeply what is happening in the story and the underlying message.

Before Reading:

Ask the students to think of something that they like that everybody knows about, and something that they like that no one or only a few people know about. They can either jot it done or keep it in their heads. Pose the following question, “Why would you share the one like and not the other one?” and have students volunteer to share their responses.

During Reading:

  1. Begin the story by reading the first paragraph. “Camilla Cream loved lima beans. But she never ate them. All of her friends hated lima beans, and she wanted to fit in. Camilla was always worried about what other people thought of her.” 
  2. Stop and ask the students "Why do you think that Camilla never ate lima beans if she loved them? Who do you think knew about how much Camilla loved lima beans?"
  3. Finish reading the book. 

After Reading:

Pass out a copy of the Multi-Tab Connecting to Feelings Foldable®.

Foldable® Directions:

  1. Holding the paper landscape/horizontally, have students fold down the top of the page so that the upper edge of the paper falls right above the words, I felt the same way as…when…because…
  2. Holding the folded paper portrait/vertically, have students fold it into thirds. 
  3. Putting one hand under the folded section, have students cut up on the creases to the upper fold (mountain). This will create three tabs.
  4. Have students write Beginning, Middle, and End on the front of each tab.
  5. Ask students "How did Camilla feel at the beginning of the story as she was getting ready for the first day of school?"  Have them write her emotions under the Beginning tab. 
  6. Ask, "Why do you think Camilla felt that way?" Then, have them write down why they thought Camilla felt that way under the character's emotions. 
  7. Ask, "Look at Camilla's feelings. Can you understand why she would feel that way? When have you ever felt any of those feelings? Think of one time and write it down on the lines under the tab."
  8. Then ask students "How do you think Camilla felt in the middle of the story when Camilla is in her classroom and when experts are coming to her house and trying to cure her?"  Have them write down her emotions under the Middle tab. Ask "Why is she feeling this way?" Have students write down why under the emotions.
  9. Ask, "Look at Camilla's feelings. Can you understand why she would feel that way? When have you ever felt any of those feelings? Think of one time and write it down on the lines under the tab." 
  10. Discuss what is happening to Camilla in the middle of the story and why it is happening. Ask, "Is the problem getting better? Why can't the experts cure her problem?"
  11. Then ask students, "How do you think Camilla felt in the end after she admits that she loves lima beans and ate them?" Have students list the emotions under the End tab. Ask, "What made her feel that way?" Have them write why under the character's emotions.
  12. Ask, "Look at Camilla's feelings. Can you understand why she would feel that way? When have you ever felt any of those feelings? Think of one time and write it down on the lines under the tab." 
  13. Discuss the following questions: "What did the old women mean when she said, 'I knew the real you was in there somewhere?' What do you think the author is trying to teach us?"
  14. Student Reflection:  Think about and write on the back of your Foldable® the answer to "What did you learn from this story?" 
The Multi-Tab Connecting to Feelings Foldable® can be folded so that it has 2, 3, or 4 tabs. You can use it with any story where you'd like your students to connect to emotions. In this lesson, we used it to identify and connect to one character's emotions throughout the story. An alternative might be to identify different character's emotions during one event. Label each tab with a character's name. Then ask students to connect to one of the character's emotions on the lines.

This lesson used a Multi-Tab Connecting to Feelings Foldable® that is set up landscape style. We've also created one that is set up portrait style.

Check out Dinah-Might Adventures for other Foldable® ideas.

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