Story Elements--Characters

2nd grade started our first RTI group on October 8th. We wanted to start with Story Elements (RL2.1, RL2.5 and RL2.7) because we felt like our students need to have a strong understanding of character, setting, plot, problem, and solution if we are going to dig deeper with them this year. 

So we started with a pre-test where students listened to a Henry and Mudge story, a short story. They then wrote down the characters and setting(s). We had them draw and label Mudge (labeling why he is just the right dog for Henry).

Students then cut apart sentences that we typed from the story and glued them to their test paper in the correct order.

Finally, students used their highlighters to highlight the sentence that tells the problem, and the sentence that tells the solution.

We graded the assessments, grouped our students based on those assessment results mixing up the bottom half of our students so that not all of the lowest students were together. We figured out last year that when we placed all of our lowest students together in an RTI group, they made minimal growth. They did not participate, and it was frustrating for the teacher. They need students who can be models for them, who can work along side them. 

We started week one with Characters

I created these documents to help ensure the 2nd grade RTI team was on the same schedule and using similar phrases and procedures. Because we have such a short amount of time with our RTI groups it is essential that we maximize this time with well organized plans. We are lucky to have 2 para educators supporting us during this time, but unfortunate because we do not get a lot of time to meet with them and explain our expectations, what we want our students to leave this RTI group knowing, understanding... 

So these documents serve as a sort of guide and reminder :) So far they are working out great! My teammate and I sit down and quickly "sketch" out our plan and we gather materials we will need. I then take all of that information and type up the documents. We have the documents and materials ready for our paras so they do not have to worry about preparing anything. 

I think that because this is our second year doing RTI groups by grade level, we have a much better handle on things. We know how much time it should take us to plan, we know when we are wasting time and need to just make a decision, and we know how to maximize each other's strengths as teachers and as individuals.

Here are some pictures from our first week: Characters! (I forgot to take pictures on our third day when students recreated the character posters that they then took home and became the teachers, teaching their family about what a character is)

 Character Poster: definition and sketches
Sketches are important to help our low readers and ELL students better understand and remember this definition of a character.

 Character Connection Frame

 Example of a short story we read to our groups.
 When we started using Graphic Organizers we cut sentences apart and had students sort the sentences under the character names on the organizer. This was the perfect scaffolding activity for our low groups.

Tape bubbles. Prepared ahead of time to save us time when we added sentences to the character charts.

Another short story.

Here I demonstrated how to create the character Graphic Organizer.
We filled in the information together.
I demonstrated the "Look Back" comprehension strategy and first read the story through.
Then identified the characters.
Then focused only on Beth (reread the story) and we wrote down everything we read about Beth.
Then focused only on Todd (reread the story) and we wrote down everything we read about Todd.

A response frame I found at HelloLiteracy You MUST READ Jen's blog post!! I have read, reread, and shared this particular post multiple times. It is PACKED with valuable and eye-opening information about CCSS. Please read!!

This coming week we are keeping the groups the same and focusing on Setting.

I will post pictures from our setting activities this week!


  1. Check out my latest blog post~~You have been BOO'd!!!!
    Third Grade Love

  2. FUN! Thanks, Darleen :) Happy-almost-Halloween!!