Thursday, January 17, 2008

HTSMC Step 4: Teaching Character Development

And by character development, I mean literary characters.

I don't mean it in the U.S. Army sense of the word.

Right. So I got this idea from my favorite Manga drawing book. The idea is that character development isn't static, so the best way to do it isn't by making a list of your characters' qualities or favorite after-school activitities.

Instead, you think about how your character would react in a situation, and that helps you to get to know your character the same way you would get to know a real person--actions speak louder than words and all that.

So now I'm starting each Manga meeting by giving the kids a prompt, like what would your character do
  • if a rock was falling on her head?
  • if someone unexpected declared his or her undying love?
  • if he was falsely accused of stealing something?
The kids are ridiculously creative. In reaction to the rock falling, we had characters deflecting rocks with their iron skulls, pulling someone else over to stand under the rock, and reaching above their heads to stop the rock with their bare hands. Oh, and one character just, you know, stepped out of the way.

The great thing about this, for me, is that I'm going to reuse the situations as prompts for my drama club. If I were to write an equation describing how this will affect my planning time, I would use division. But I can't be any more exact, because that would involve math.

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