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Paper Bag Characterization

My students presented their Paper Bag Character assignments today.  LOVED it!!!  They worked so hard on these projects, and it definitely paid off.  Their final projects were awesome!  When the students finished presenting their 10 items inside the bag, we set all the projects up in the nutrition area outside my classroom, and had a gallery walk-through.  This is the first time I've done the gallery walk-through with these projects ... but not the last.  Next year I'd like to invite a few classrooms to see our fabulousness.  I was so excited about these projects I stayed for a bit after school to get them hung on the bulletin board.  I'm just waiting for a few more projects to come in, then I'll hang our learning goal - and I'll be one happy teacher!  (As you can see, I've got some Suzanne Collins fans in my class - I had 5 different projects on Katniss (but from all three books in the trilogy), and 3 different projects on Gregor the Overlander (a five book series from Suzanne Collins).






I've never been one for traditional book reports - we usually only do one a year, just to practise the writing form ... whenever possible I try to give my students fun variations to share their reading with the class.  


For this project students must illustrate the front cover with a picture of their main character.  I also had them add the title and author of their novels.




One of the side panels is for the character's likes and dislikes, and the other panel is for how other characters react to and interact with their main character.  

The back panel has the character's growth throughout the novel.  Students have to provide supporting evidence and their own thinking for all the panels.  






But my favourite part is the inside - students must place 10 objects in the bag that symbolize something important about the character.  They also present this information to the class - making sure they give a deep explanation about why the object is significant to the character - not just how it is connected to the book.

My students had such amazing insights this year ... hard to believe some of them are only in grade 5!  


If you're interested, my Paper Bag Characters assignment is a product at my TPT store.  You can view it here.  I also have this assignment included in a larger Characterization bundle which you can view here.



And now, if you'll excuse me ... I must go read.  My Fifty Shades trilogy arrived today and I've already started the first book.  I'm thinking it's about to get a little hot in here ...
(and no, I won't be doing a paper bag character assignment on this one).  ;)



Happy FRIDAY!!!  Cheers to the weekend!!!













35 comments:

  1. So awesome! Your students projects came out great.

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  2. What a great idea! Those turned out so good!!
    Sarah
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

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  3. another fab idea, i am already thinking how i can use it for inferring and point of view that we are doing. thanks mary at apopovic@primus.ca

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  4. This is awesome Jen! How often do you assign book report projects like this? I am doing the Reading Olympics this year, and the amount of projects is, frankly, overwhelming for me. I am thinking if I can do a few projects like the one you posted, it might be more managable. Now you have my wheels turning.

    ~Stephanie
    Teaching in Room 6

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  5. Very nice idea. Thank you so much for sharing. From Balearic Islands, Spain.
    Guida, teacher´s trainer.

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  6. We have a monthly book project and my first one is a paper bag. Since it's the first one, they just put items in the bag for setting, problems, character, etc. I like your idea which just centers on the character. Thanks

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  7. I love your book project...soc creative and fun for the kids!

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  8. I love this project. Hopefully I can find a way to fit it into the end of the year -- we completed the character unit quite a while ago, but I'd love to do these paper bag reports. I hopped right over to TPT to check out the whole FANTASTIC packet. Thank you so much for offering it so inexpensively -- one more tool to use next year!

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  9. Great idea! Thanks for sharing :) We do a book review blog instead of a book report but I'd like to try this next year as well. (Also reading 50 Shades of Grey-in the middle of book two. Yowzer!)

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  10. What a perfect project!!! I would love to try this next year!

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  11. What a great project! I love! I can't wait to try it with my fourth graders next year!
    Lisa
    Stories From Second

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  12. Fantastic! I can't wait to try this with my 3rd grade class!

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  13. Super fun! I did the same project with my 3rd graders, but we used cereal boxes rather than bags. We were able to put them on a book shelf after and students could pull them out to read. Love that these can go on a bulletin board.

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  14. They look awesome Jen! I love this project - it could work for so many grade levels, too. I've done something similar with my Grade 7's and they really enjoyed it. I love how you displayed them - I'll have to steal that for next time;)

    Krystal

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  15. These turned out ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! I think I have a book on ways to incorporate paper bags into learning. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  16. I would have LOVED doing that when I was in school. Thanks for being such a great teacher and incorporating hands on/creative projects and encouraging all types of learners to succeed!
    Krissy
    Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business

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  17. Your Blog is beautiful. I am trying to start my own ESL teaching blog!

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  18. Hi Jen:
    This is GREAT. I'm guessing this assignment really made them think critically--since the objects had to fit into the bagg--AND they had to defend their inclusion. I also liked the opportunity to work on presentation skills. I'm never seem to have enough "formal data" for that grade when it comes to report cards... and this would be a good way (and good for the kids too!) to assess that.
    You're a marvel.

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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  19. Seeing your projects and all the great books makes me want to move to 6th grade. I love ALL those books. What fun! Thanks for sharing this great project. ~Amanda @ The Teaching Thief

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  20. I actually downloaded the information on this project earlier in the week. I was wondering what size bag you used. These look great!!! I am definitely going to put this in the book project plan next year. Thanks so much for sharing. I have gotten so much from your blogs this year. Thanks a million!!!

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  21. I LOVED doing paper bag book reports when I taught 3rd grade!! But I never displayed them like that - how fun!

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  22. Jen they turned out awesome!!! What a great project! I love that students collect artificats that will go along with the book & character. The BB looks great!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

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  23. Jen, they are adorable! Love the idea! I tweeted it!

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  24. Fabulous idea! I have done something similar to this before but you have really given me some ideas to "kick it up a notch".
    PS - I just finished book 3 of the grey trilogy -loved them all but book 2 was definitely my favourite - enjoy!

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  25. Thanks for posting. I do cereal box book reports, but I like that yours include the "inside" stuff. Your bags are also a LOT easier to attach to the bulletin board than my cereal boxes. ha ha. I see that your kids read "Hatchet". Was it uncomfortable with "the secret"? I am reading it to my kids for the first time (haven't read it myself) and I see that something is coming. Wondering if I will need to censor part of it. How did you handle that?
    Susan at RodriguezRockStars.blogspot.com

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  26. This is so clever, I can see a multitude of ways to use this activity in a classroom. Thanks for sharing it. :)

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  27. My class loved it! Thank you so much for this amazing idea..I put up some photos on teaching fashionista.blogspot.com..I love your blog!

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  28. Thanks so much for this idea. I really dislike doing the same reading assignment each month. This is great. Kristy @ http://2peasandadog.blogspot.ca/

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  29. What grade was this for?? LOVE this idea~

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. Correction: I'm just curious about how you do...

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  32. I love your idea. It's excellent. I want to know what were the steps: Did you start reading the book in class or at home? Did your students work in pairs/ groups or individually? I'm just curious about you do such a great activity.

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  33. I'm so glad you do!! Good luck! I hope your week is a great one!Leather messenger bag for men

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