Character Development Made Simple with Ada Twist, Scientist

Character development is one of those tough ones. How do you get students to see how a character changes throughout a book? How do they see how the author has used those character traits to develop a character? Today's Virginia Readers' Choice and Book Talk Thursday selection will help students better understand characters in a story.
Character development can be tough for some of our students. Using picture books with strong characters can help them as they learn this important concept.

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If you have read Rosie Revere, Engineer, you will love Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. A young girl as a scientist will have girls (and boys) excited about science again.

Ada Twist is a young girl who is most curious. She wants to find out more about the world around her and will do anything to find out more. She takes a while to talk but seems to want to know more about all she sees. Her parents don't know what to do, but they allow her to find out things on her own and make messes in the process.

My fifth grade students were struggling with character development, and Ada Twist, Scientist was the perfect choice for helping them better understand the concept. Throughout the book, the author describes young Ada through her actions and other characters. This helped as my students worked through the story and thought about who Ada was and how she changed throughout the story.

I gave each student a sticky note to write down their ideas about Ada's character. They loved using the pictures of her putting the cat in the dryer or making up ways to find out where the smell was coming from. They came up with ideas like "curious" and "messy". Some even said she was "determined".  Of course, they had to give evidence from the book telling why they felt that way.
Character development can be tough for some of our students. Using picture books with strong characters can help them as they learn this important concept.

This simple exercise really got the kids thinking about character development and how the author finds ways to describe characters in a book. Ada Twist, Scientist was a perfect book for helping children better understand characters in various ways.

It is also a great book for reminding students to use the scientific method. Throughout the book, Ada is trying to find new ways to solve problems by making guesses and experimenting on them. It's perfect for all of those STEM activities we encourage our students to do.

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Character development can be tough for some of our students. Using picture books with strong characters can help them as they learn this important concept.

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