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Volume 4 Number 5

Too many people in the general public continue to think that teaching is a job that anyone can do. Wrong! Teaching is a special calling. Teaching is a mission.
Overworked and Under- appreciated - A Tribute to Teachers...
Overworked and Under-appreciated - A Tribute to Teachers by Don Quimby
Learning Simulations Add to Classroom Lessons by Lanny Sorenson
14 Steps to Teacher Assertiveness - How to cope with difficult parents, principals and staff members by Mike Moore
Early Years Are Learning Years - Learning through Water Play from: National Association for the Education of Young Children
Pupil Personality Profile by P R Guruprasad
End of Year Gift Ideas for Young Students from the Teachers.Net Kindergarten Chatboard
Millionaires Receive Tax Break While More Children Enter Poverty fromThe Children's Defense Fund
Eating Disorders: A Multi-Discipline Approach to the Kate Moss "Wispy Waif " Syndrome by Dr. Catherine Sagan
Editor's epicks for May by Kathleen Alape Carpenter
A Note To Young Immigrants by Mitali Perkins
Ladybug Poems and Activities from the Teachers.Net Community
A Step by Step Writing Guide for Students - Writing About a Character (Fourth Grade) by Barbara D. Martin
May Columns
May Regular Features
May Informational Items
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Teacher Feature...

A Step by Step Writing Guide for Students - Writing About a Character (Fourth Grade)

by Barbara D. Martin


  1. Choose a story that you like--your paper will be more interesting for you to write, and you will do a better job!
  2. Choose a graphic form to use--a web might be the best for this.
  3. Choose one of the characters from a story. Find someone you have strong feelings for--someone you really admire, or like, or dislike.
  4. Put your character in the center of the web.
  5. Write a bubble for
    1. what the character does
    2. what the character thinks and feels
    3. how the character relates to others
    4. the character's physical attributes (what he looks like) and/or personality. (Look at the chart if you want to find describing words to put here.)

  6. Write everything you can remember about that person--go back and look at the story to remember all the parts of the story and find sections that show the kind of person he/she is.
  7. Look at the things you have written. Make sure that everything you wrote is important. Throw some ideas away, go look for more examples is you don't have enough information to write a whole paragraph on the topic that is required.
  8. Organize! Perhaps you would like to get another paper and put the items in a list. Put all the same things together and then, in each section, decide which example should come first, which second, etc.


Rough Draft

  1. Put your name and date on the paper.
  2. Put the title on the top line.
  3. Skip a line.
  4. Indent.

Paragraph One

  1. Indent
  2. Write an opening sentence for paragraph one. Make it interesting. (Look at the chart "Beginnings" for ideas if you like.)
  3. Paragraph one should be an introduction to your paper. Tell who you are writing about, the title of the story your character is from, the author, why you chose this character, perhaps the part your character plays in the story (the hero, clown, etc.). This is to introduce the WHOLE PAPER! Use generalizations here, not details (unless you used one in your opening sentence to grab attention). Be sure you write about your character and not the story!
  4. Add a closing sentence.

Paragraph Two

  1. Indent.
  2. Write an opening sentence for paragraph two on what the character does.
  3. Paragraph two should be about what the character does. Look in the story and find details. How do the character's actions show the kind of person he is? Be exact! Use examples from the story!
  4. Add a closing sentence.

Paragraph Three

  1. Indent.
  2. Write an opening sentence for paragraph three.
  3. Paragraph three should tell what the character feels and thinks. Look back through the story and find places that tell what he reacts to emotionally. Look at what he says. Find words that tell how he thinks. Often the adjectives and adverbs tell this.
  4. Add a closing sentence.

Paragraph Four

  1. Indent.
  2. Write an opening sentence for paragraph four.
  3. Paragraph four should tell how the character relates to others. Look back through the story and find places that show how he treats others. What does he say to them? What does he do that shows he is nice or cruel? Does he treat others with respect? Does he listen, or walk away? What do other characters think about him? Give details, quote parts of the story.
  4. Add a closing sentence.

Paragraph Five

  1. Indent.
  2. Write an opening sentence for paragraph five.
  3. Paragraph five should tell about the character's personality. You have explained some of this in paragraphs two, three and four. What else can you find that shows the kind of person your character is? Again, look at the chart. Again, look at the story. USE FACTS. USE DETAILS FROM THE STORY.
  4. Add a closing sentence.

Closing Paragraph

  1. Indent.
  2. Your closing paragraph should be a review of the main points you made in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, and 5. Look over your whole paper to find the most important things. (Use the list you made when you organized your thoughts.) Include them, but use different words to tell why these things are important to your reader.
  3. Use a "WOW" sentence to close your essay. Look at the "Endings chart for ideas. This is your last chance to make an impression on the reader-- make it a good one!


Look over your story.

  • Have your written about your character and not just the story?
  • Does each sentence contain a complete thought, having a subject and a predicate?
  • Does each sentence start with a capital letter and end with a period?
  • Is your spelling the best you can make it? (If you are unsure you may look at the sound cards or a dictionary to help.)
  • Can you add any interesting adjectives or adverbs to make the writing come alive?
  • Are you using MAE? (He is here. We are going.)
  • Read your story softly under your breath. Can you read it easily and smoothly, or are there places where you stumble and pause? If there are rough places, FIX THEM! Your essay should flow! Can you use transitions (first, then, later, next, etc.) that would help your essay to read more smoothly?
  • Have your made some of your sentences long, some short, used some compound sentences? These all add interest for the reader.
  • Can you look over your paper and use more specific, descriptive words: "scolded" instead of "said," or "The boy tipped slowly over as he lost his balance instead of just, "The boy fell."
  • Did you use exact quotes from the story? Good for you, if you did, but be sure that you use quotation marks " " as well.
  • Comparing and/or contrasting is sophisticated writing and thinking. Is there a place that you can use it in your essay? Look for it, and if you can easily do it, do it!
  • Make your corrections here, on this copy. Keep editing until you have a paper you know is your best.

Publishing (Your final copy)

Write your neatest. Get a sticky note to help keep your place if you wrote a lot and tend to get lost in your paper. If you make a mistake, erase carefully and as completely as you can. That's it! You're done!

But--when you get through, ask yourself: What did I learn from writing the essay? Is there something I didn't learn well enough? Should I have asked more questions, taken better notes, listened better, asked my teacher to explain something again? The thinking you do today is the first step to your next essay.

For a printable version of this article click here.

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