Assumptions: Seventh grade students often need help organizing their thoughts. They also have trouble identifying character traits because they look at current emotions rather than trends in the character’s thoughts, feelings, actions, and words. Finally seventh graders generally do not support their conclusions with reasons, generally giving incomplete answers in incomplete sentences.
Solution: This tool, which will be used with a list of possible character traits, walks students through the thought process of analyzing character traits. It requires students to map the characters words, thoughts, feelings and actions as well as mapping other characters’ words, thoughts, feelings, and actions. The tool then walks the student through an analysis of the characters’ traits and provides space for the students to explain their reasoning. The tool uses whitespace to create symmetry and to separate sections of the visual (Lohr, 2008, p. 274-275). Students should be able to take notes in the white space on the left and fill in the blanks on the right.
User Test: I will be testing this tool with my students and making changes based on their feedback and my observations of what is and is not working for them. I anticipate maybe needing to enlarge the headings over each section.
Sources: Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.