One of my favorite lessons to teach in kindergarten is characters, setting and major events. I actually start teaching this concept to my kiddos in the first two weeks of school.
Before introducing the topic, I check the state standards to make sure that I have the exact wording and to understand its intent. Using the specific wording of the state standard, I create a learning goal and a scale/rubric with four learning targets or levels. Then, I develop and administer a quick pre-assessment to students in order to find out whether or not they have previously acquired that knowledge. I strategically align the pre-assessment with the scale to make it easier to determine which students are at a specific level on the scale.
Once this process is completed, I start by introducing the vocabulary words (characters, setting and major events), which is usually on level 2 of the scale. One of the most effective and fun ways to do this is by creating a slide show on the topic or an interactive PowerPoint presentation. I teach the vocabulary words and informally assess students to ensure that they understand the meaning of the vocabulary words.
Once students complete this step, I teach them how to identify characters, setting and major events in a literary text. We read a different story each day. While reading, students are asked to identify the characters, setting(s) and the major events in each text read. At the end of the week, I use an interactive PowerPoint presentation that I created in order to informally assess them prior to administering the summative assessment. If after this presentation students do not answer the questions on the PowerPoint correctly, I continue teaching and reinforcing the concept for one more week. Then, I formally assess students using a post assessment that mirrors the pre-assessment, but with questions that are more difficult. Last, we celebrate success.
If you would like to check out my interactive PowerPoint presentation for teaching characters, setting and major events, please click below.
With activity, your children will accelerate their learning of identifying characters, setting and major events before you know it!