Imagine if you could step inside the character in a picture book!

At the start of Term 3, Year 1 were introduced to the Children’s Book Week shortlist. Over the next few weeks we read, discussed and responded to the Early Childhood shortlist picture books.

Read, discuss the main character and record ideas 


Year 1 Step Inside the Character sample

The books were housed in an old suitcase which created anticipation each lesson on what book would be the focus. The aim was to gather information about the main character following the ‘Step Inside’ Visible Thinking Routine what the main character Perceives, Knows about, Cares about. The questions after each book were as follows, as the children shared their responses, the ideas were recorded. 

  • Who is the main character? Are they human, an animal or an imagined character? 
  • What can the character see?
  • What might the character think?
  • What might the character care about?

I was inspired by A Culture of Thinking as they have clear definitions and examples of different ages for using Thinking Routines.

Illustrate the main character

Once we had finished reading and exploring the books the children illustrated the main character from one of the stories using the crayon watercolour resist art work. Deep Space Sparkle  provides clear steps for this technique, it was helpful for the students to see the steps as outlined by Deep Space Sparkle.

Write about the main character

The students were then provided with a summary of all the ideas recorded after each book was read.

A writing prompt was introduced:

I am … (character name) from … (book title) I can see…I think (or wonder)…I care about…

Students wrote a draft, had a conference and then used a good copy paper to write their edited work to add to their art work. Art work was displayed in the Library for all to enjoy.


Year 1 Step Inside the Character sample


Year 1 Step Inside the Character sample

What Went Well? 

Overall I noticed that the students were able to respond quicker, deeper and more productively as we revisited the thinking routine over the six lessons. The prompts for writing assisted the students to focus their ideas and Step Inside the character for their artwork and writing.

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[embeddoc url=”” width=”50%” height=”200px” download=”all” viewer=”google” ]

[embeddoc url=”” width=”50%” height=”200px” download=”all” viewer=”google” ]


Year 1 Step Inside the Character display of work



  1. LeMerle, Anne 28/09/2019 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you for your ideas – fabulous!


    1. School Library Owl 28/09/2019 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks so much Anne, great to hear it was helpful.


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