Learners for Life
What is a 21st Century learner? How do we know what we need to know? For me (the teacher) to ponder: Unless I am willing to do more than is required, I am probably not worth what I am paid.
Reading Project 1: Character Suitcase

Character Suitcase

Image by Bing


1. Read a book of your choice.

2. You will make and pack a suitcase that one of the characters in the story will take on a trip.

Materials needed

  • small cardboard box for suitcase

  • construction paper

  • markers, crayons, colored pencils

  • glue sticks

  • scissors

  • fabric scraps

3. The suitcase needs to include the following items (objects can be handmade, computer art, stickers, or small objects)

a. a luggage tag that has the character’s name, address, and destination written on it

b. memorabilia to decorate the outside of the suitcase, such as bumper stickers or mementos from previous trips.

c. 10 items that the character would pack. These items may be both tangible and intangible.

For example, Brian Robeson, the main character in Hatchet, packs a hatchet (tangible) and courage (intangible) because he needs both to survive.

d. A brief explanation stating why the character chose to pack each item. It should be written from the character’s point of view. The explanation needs to be typed.

Here is an example.

Brian Robeson’s Suitcase

Given the last experience I had when visiting my dad in the Canadian wilderness I know what to pack for this trip. Last summer the pilot of the Cessna 406 had a fatal heart attack, and the plane crashed, stranding me in the middle of the wilderness. I vowed to get my pilot’s license, which I now have.

I’m packing my hatchet because it was my lifeline last summer. For luck, I’m taking a twenty-dollar bill just in case I need for tinder. I’m also bringing a compass to help me find my way home, a sleeping bag to stay warm and a tent to provide shelter. Since water is essential, I’ll carry a canteen, for I might not find a lake this time. If I run into another porcupine, a first aid kit will make it easier to disinfect and bandage the wounds.

To remind me not to lose hope, I’ll light a candle every night. When I lost hope last summer, I became so depressed I almost died. I’ll also pack the medal for bravery my hometown gave me upon my return; courage is definitely needed in the wilderness. To keep me from feeling lonely and isolated, I’ll bring along a picture of my best friend, Terry. Now I’m ready to go. I hope this trip to Dad’s is uneventful, but just in case, I’m prepared.

Note:  If you would like to have this text read to you, please click the play arrow on the audio player below.