Character Inferences with The Lightning Thief

My students and I are reading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordin. We are really loving this novel.  I am using it to teach and practice a few close reading strategies including chunking the text with one sentence summaries and finding what I call "the gist."  Of course this is all leading to inferences and character analysis of the text.  We made a chart that dealt with character traits of Percy Jackson.  They were based on what my students noticed, and then what this made them wonder about.  I used a strategy called Carousel of Quotes.  Basically, I took a series of quotes from the first chapter and had students work in triads to discuss the quotes.  I really love this one in particular:
It always cracks me up to read the thinking of my middles. I was really happy to see that many of them could be insightful about a character.  Often I get the "He is nice, he is kind"  blah, blah, BLECH! Once we started to understand that we could learn about a character based on how other's perceived him, as well as dialogue amongst other characters we created another chart.

We went back into our text and found direct, cited evidence about Percy Jackson.  Based on this we had to share what we thought about Percy.  I pushed them to really look for evidence based on the thoughts and actions of other characters in relation to Percy.  This was difficult at first, but I've noticed as we are progressing through the text it is getting easier for them.  Every time we cold read a chapter my students are looking for this type of evidence.  The post it notes are mounting inside of the books.  Students are practicing chunking text with a purpose, which I am hoping will translate into their writing about the text this coming week.
Next up:  Challenge/Response and The Hero's Journey.  
What is keeping your students motivated during these snowy winter months?  Are you reading something that is lighting a fire with your students?  I'd love to hear about it!


  1. I am bookmarking this post! Great strategies! I love seeing what they are thinking too:).

  2. I love the strategies you presented in this post! I am going to favorite it on my blog lovin' feed. :) Also.....I love the Lightning Thief! Great book!!

    Mind Sparks

  3. I would love to do a book study with this book, but most of my students have already read it and the whole series. The last time I tried to read a book they had already read, it didn't turn out too well for me. I can't wait to read more about what all you are doing with this book. I'm definitely going to save them for when I have a new group!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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