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On the chalkboard (without indicating any connection with reading) write the first names of story characters that the group will meet in its next assignment.

Mention that we often associate specific names with certain types of people.
Sometimes the name itself, with no other clue, suggests someone who is jolly, mysterious, mischievous, sly, witty, fat or clever.

Encourage children to state what characteristics the names on the board suggest.

Then have each student select one name and write a thumbnail sketch describing the physical and personality traits of an imaginary person who bears that name. 

When the sketches are complete, have the children look up the meaning of the name in their dictionaries or in "name etymology" books, if available.

They can compare their original ideas with the new information.
Then have the students read the planned story and make simple charts on paper that has been divided into three segments. Under the headings "My (character's name)," "Etymology (character's name)" and "Story (character's name)" they can list similarities and differences.


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