Open-Mind Portraits

strategy 26

A way to help learning point of view

Grades: 3-5 and 6-8
Focus: comprehension

What is it used for?
  • focuses on characters in literature.
  • comprehension of text
  • learning point of view
  • round or flat characters
  • compare and contrasting portraits to examine the plot and different characters throughout the story.
  • assess students on how they view characters (right or wrong direction?)

Steps to use it in your classroom.....
  1. Have a copy of face portrait for each student, make sure it has front of face and back.
  2. Have students make the physical features of the person on the front. This will help your visual and spatial learners in the classroom.
  3. Students will write thoughts, pictures, comments, feelings that the character on the back of the person.
  4. Your students can share with the table to help get a better understanding of the character for their classes view, and to add to the characters portrait.

Ways to use the strategy:
  • individual or small groups
  • compare/contrast how the character changed through the story
  • after to assess comprehension
  • give students choice of which character
  • encourage creativity

For advanced learners:

Have the students prove where they got the information from. Extend to a writing activity by having the student write a short letter from their characters point of view explaining who they are.

Helpful Links:
A literacy and social studies lesson using open-mind portraits by Jacquelyn Galante
Example of open-mind portrait

Common Core Connections:

  • English---RL.3.6 Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
  • English---RL.7.8 Explain how the author develops the narrator or the speaker in a text. Analyze how the author develops and contrasts the point of view of different characters.
  • Social Studies---Understanding major ideas, themes, and turning points in world history.

    Tompkins, Gail E. "Open-Mind Portrait." 50 Literacy Strategies. 4th ed. N.p.: Pearson, n.d. 78-80. Print.