Monday, February 26, 2018

Joining #2018MBM and Thinking About Compelling Characters

My friends Tony Keefer and Scott Jones co-host March Book Madness and I have a confession, I've never really looked into it.  They teach older grades and it seemed like one more thing to do and I think I've felt late to the party in previous years but not this year.  I started to see some buzz on Twitter and tried to ignore it.  You can predict what happened next.  I took a look and got very excited about this project.  

Today I launched March Book Madness with my students and they are excited!  The video Tony and Scott created sharing the book pairings is fun and informative.  We then learned how to show we were participating by placing our school location on a their Google Map.  They were so cute following the directions from the how to video Tony and Scott made.

We did some interactive writing for our bracket board to name our project and I started thinking about the theme for the book collection; compelling characters.  I kept wrestling with this today and visited to think more about the word compelling.

compelling - having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention, or respect

My day shifted to home life and I stopped at our local library to pick up my reserves of March Book Madness books.  My favorite head librarian Mr. George was there and I asked him if he knew about March Book Madness.  He had a moment and he hopped on his computer and we began looking at the brackets and he was sharing his thoughts on different books but overall he really loved the ones pulled for picture books.  He was really excited about the project overall.

So, I asked him for advice.  How would you explain compelling characters to second graders.  I shared I was worried how to help to my students think beyond liking the book.  He gave me brilliant advice and I thought I would pass it along.

Ask your students to pretend they are the character.  
How do you feel about what happened?

I can't wait to have great discussions with my students and participate in March Book Madness.  My kids love the slogan - Books Always Win!  Game on, friends.


  1. I'm so glad you started this too. My first graders are having deep discussions about the characters in these stories. We talk about compelling characters as someone you can look up to (hero), someone who grabs your attention, someone who is interesting. Today we had a discussion about which character was the compelling one. The class agreed to disagree.

    1. Thanks for the tips about your compelling thinking. It sounds like fabulous reading work going on in your room right now.

  2. What fun for the kids (and you)! I will be watching for the brackets and winner.