Character colors can be a fast and meaningful addition to literature discussions.
True story: my class and I reviewed The Hunger Games. We highlighted important characteristics and actions of the main characters. Then a student inadvertently enhanced the lesson.
I was writing character names on the top of colored paper, planning to hang them after our abridged graffiti activity. I randomly assigned characters to paper when a student said, “Prim should be purple. Or pink.”
Yes! Yes she should!! Prim, the soft-spoken contrast to the protagonist Katniss, should be symbolized with a delicate color.
I immediately altered my lesson. Now we would review characters, as well as decide what colors symbolized them. From a few classes, they decided:
Prim and Rue- purple or pink
Cinna- yellow (they wanted gold because of his eyeliner, but I had no gold paper)
I thought it was interesting how one class wanted Cinna gold, but another wanted him purple because he’s so delicate with Katniss.
When we reviewed with Catching Fire months later, all classes agreed that the Avoxes needed to be red.
I figured the two most mentioned Avoxes have red hair. Nope my students said. It symbolizes the blood from when their tongues are cut.
Got it. And I love it.
This was a simple and inexpensive twist on review, and we had great discussions. Character colors can be a fast and meaningful addition to literature discussions.