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Adjective paper dolls


Submitted by: Tina Wyatt

1.       Read the book "Stellaluna" by Janell Canon.  This is a children's book.  I purchased my copy from

2.       Have students list their friends and  put a star beside 3 - 6 of them.

3.       Each student creates a chart and puts each starred  friend's name at the top of a column.  Students may include themselves if they want to.  Decide upon some categories - - clothing, hobbies, appearance, etc...  and have students  fill in their charts.

4.       Now, students  list each friend on a separate sheet of paper and write five adjectives describing each.  Refer back to charts for ideas if needed.

5.       Using a thesaurus, each student finds replacements for each of the words chosen  previously.  Allow the use of  only SIXTH grade words -- we're looking for a sophisticated vocabulary here, and slang is not permitted.  This step usually takes most of a 45 minute period.  Let students work with whomever they choose.  It is interesting to hear students discussing the nuances of the meanings of certain words and deciding whether the word actually fits the person in question.  Don't allow students to use the same words to describe  all their friends.

6.       Now, give each student two sheets of continuous-feed computer paper with the perforation intact.  Have ready approximately six cardboard cut outs of paper dolls.   Mine are eleven inches long so that they fit the length of the paper exactly, and each pattern has three figures holding hands -- they look like gingerbread men.  Have students trace the pattern onto their computer paper and cut out what they have traced.  When they open the paper, each student has six people holding hands.

7.       Have each student decorate their figures to look like their friends.

(They may have included themselves, and I have had students include a pet or two.)  On the back, students should list the adjectives they found to describe that person and put the person's name.  They may simply discard the extra figures if they chose fewer than six people, or someone may want to borrow an extra figure to add to his paper dolls if he has an extra friend he can't bear to leave out.

8.       When students have completed their paper dolls, they put them on a specified bulletin board.  A colleague of mine has her students do an oral presentation of their results.

9.       As an extension, students might use the chart they created earlier to write a comparison/contrast paper about themselves and one or two friends.