The following exercise is flexible. It can be completed via distance learning or live in class. If students are completing this exercise online, they do not need to turn on their cameras or microphones. It is a short exercise that can be completed in one class period, but also extended if students complete it quickly or teachers wish to delve further. Finally, the only materials needed are a piece of clothing or an accessory and a writing device.
1. Each student will take 30 seconds and select a piece of clothing or accessory found in their home (or on their person, if you’re doing this exercise live in class). The item can be as large as a snowsuit or as small as a pair of earrings.
2. Have each student take a photo of their selected clothing item or make a quick sketch of the item, and write a brief description of the item (what the item is, size, material, brand/style, quality). The description should only include characteristics of the item without interpretation or judgment (that will come next!).
3. Students will create an original character outline using that item for inspiration. They can’t write about the actual owner of the item (for example, if they’re using their dad’s fishing hat, they can’t write about their own dad). Here are some character questions to get them started:
Students may add any additional details they think are important or interesting. At the end of class, students will submit the photo/sketch, the written description of the item, the original character outline, and their response to the exit slip question found at the end of this article.
4. Extension Activities:
5. Options to keep students on their toes:
Or, have students pair up and write about their partner’s item.