Saturday, November 7, 2009

I found Waldo!

I still have not yet found that woman's website. I have asked a couple colleagues and will let you know as soon as I find out!

By the way, as I hunt for this, it makes me absolutely sick to see how many research/term paper sellers are out there. I wonder what circle of hell Dante would have reserved for their special kind of sleaze. With the used-car salesmen perhaps?

This is a fun activity we do to start the unit; it gets them thinking about the perspective of another person.
Materials: Copies of Where's Waldo? laminated pages

1. Explain to students that the idea of this activity is to practice telling a story from another person's perspective (natural to your creative-fiction writers, but not-so-natural for others).
2. They are to take a spread from a Where's Waldo? book and select a character from it. It may not be Waldo and it MUST be from a 2-page spread (when you start to tear books out of the pages, the backs of the 2-page spreads will have 2 different sides on the back...they sometimes try to choose those sides, but that's too easy!)
3. Then they are to write a paragraph from that person's perspective (5 minutes). What do they see/hear/smell/taste/feel? What got them there? Why are they there and what are they doing? It should be written in first-person, as they are supposed to become that character in their writing.
4. After 5 minutes is up, they must pass their paragraph and layout to another set of partners. The partners should read the paragraph and try to figure out who the person is. Usually the paragraphs are good enough that students find the character in 1-2 minutes.
5. Divide students into groups of 3/partners. Give each set of students a copy of the Where's Waldo? layout and let 'em go!
6. Do another round if you have time! (More than 2 gets a bit dull, though)

They LOVE this!! I don't grade the paragraphs but I do love to look at them because the descriptions/characters they create are hilarious! While you gather up materials, set students to a good closure activity: ask them to jot down what really helped them figure out which character they were looking for. When we start drafting, I remind them to think back to this activity-- don't just give facts and dates but give me what the person said, thought, felt, and sensed.

Not doing a creative research paper? This is strategy adaptable for teaching point-of-view (have another group re-write the paragraph as second person, third-person limited, or third-person omniscient) or for practicing descriptive writing, too!

p.s. this is also great for introducing kids to the timeless character of Waldo. I was shocked that some didn't know who he was. They loved him by the end of it, though!

source: A fellow awesome teacher whose name I can't find!

1 comment:

  1. Found you through Teaching Miss V. LOVE this activity--totally stealing it! :-)

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