Talking Heads

Most language arts teachers struggle to get unmotivated readers to attach and connect with their novels and specifically their characters. There are many ideas out there about how to help these kids and what works and what doesn't. For each kid there is typically a different variable that gets them "plugged" in. I have found a neat little activity that has helped me in this area. I have students use the context clues as well as details within the story to create a "police sketch" of a character. They then take those pictures and put them into the facial animation program, Crazy Talk. Once in there, they give their characters voices and have conversations. For the particular example I posted, I have the students asking each other questions and answering them from the perspective of the character they are portraying. Don't mind the background noses as I was doing this in a full classroom with multiple groups working at once. This could be applied to just about any reading strategy and it a great way for students to engage in what they are reading. My students really enjoyed this and want to do it all the time now!

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