Lesson video

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Hi, my name is Ms. Madden.

I love reading.

And I'm really excited because in today's lesson, we get to talk all about reading and do something that I love, which is recommend books.

Not only are we going to recommend books, but we're going to think about some of our favourite characters in books that we read.

So let's get started.

In today's lesson, we will begin by discussing what reading for pleasure means.

Then we will have a little discussion about what empathy is, then I will share some recommended reads with you.

You can have to think about any books that you would recommend.

Then we will explore some character traits.

And finally describe a favourite character.

In today's lesson, you will need an exercise book or some paper, a pencil or pen to write with, and of course your brain and your memory to think about books and characters that you've loved.

So press pause and get those things ready now.


I hope you're in a nice, quiet place away from any distractions ready to learn.

So we're going to start off by thinking about reading for pleasure.

What is reading for pleasure? If you've done one of the previous reading for pleasure lessons, maybe you'll remember perhaps this isn't something that you've heard of before.

Press pause and see if you can explain it out loud.

Well done.

When we talk about reading for pleasure, we just mean the reading that we do that is really enjoyable for us.

The reading that makes us happy that we want to do.

It's not what you're told to read, it's not when you're researching something, reading for information, it's reading, because we have chosen to do this reading and the reading that makes us happy.

That could be reading nonfiction.

It could be reading fiction.

It could be reading blogs.

It could be reading anything that you choose.

That's what we mean when we talk about reading for pleasure.

I want to spend a little moment thinking about empathy now.

Have you heard of the word empathy? Do you know what it means? Can you press pause and try and explain it in words, if you can.

Okay, let's see what you said.

So empathy is our ability to understand and share someone else's feelings.

Empathy is a really important skill in life to make us a good friend, to make us a good family member and to make us a good global citizen.

Now, anything isn't, we don't have a set amount of empathy.

We can actually grow our empathy and did you know, the books help us to grow up empathy.

They help us see things from another person's point of view.

Sometimes we can think of empathy as made up of three elements.

The first is feelings where we resonate with another person's emotions.

The second is thinking where we use reason and our imagination to work out how someone else is feeling, and the third, this is a really important one is acting where we are inspired to help others having experienced how they are feeling.

So if you see someone else's fallen over in the street, if you have empathy, you might realise that that's an unpleasant experience.

So you might act and go over to them and say, are you okay? Can I help you? That's an example of how empathy is important.

Now I'm going to share with you two texts that helped me to develop my empathy when reading them, these are books I really enjoyed.

The first is a graphic novel called "El Deafo" by Cece Bell.

I don't know if you've read any graphic novels, but I highly recommend them.

This graphic novel is semi autobiographical.

So Cece Bell actually wrote it based on her own experiences.

Cece is deaf, and she wrote this story about when she went to school and her experiences of school with her hearing impairment.

The illustrations in this book are so fantastic and really helped to imagine and empathise what it must have been like for her in school.

The second text I want to share is a novel called "Wonder".

You may have heard had of it, it is very popular.

It's also being turned into a film.

"Wonder" is written by RJ Palacio.

It's also the story of someone going to school for the first time.

It's about a character called August who was born with a rare medical facial deformity.

He has undergone 27 surgeries in order to see, smell, speak and hear.

Up to this point in his life, he's been homeschooled, but the story begins just before he's about to go to school.

It's something that he's very worried about, but he manages.

This story also particularly helped me to develop my empathy because it's told from different perspectives.

It's not simply told from the perspective of August, its main character, also known as Auggie.

In that way, you hear about other characters and you make assumptions about characters before actually reading from their perspective.

And it helps you realise that you probably shouldn't judge people on their actions because you don't always know what's going on behind the scenes.

Do you think you would like to read either of these books? Pause and say out loud the one which you would like to read.


So can you remember what empathy is? Press pause and say it to the screen.

Well done.

Empathy is our ability to understand and share someone else's feelings.

And we can grow this through reading.

Now I'm going to share with you some recommended reads.

My first recommended read is about another person starting a new school.

This is Ella, who's finding life quite challenging.

She's moved away from her best friend, her eczema is acting up and she also has a big secret about her family.

This story is one that I think many young people can relate to.

As it explores the pressure you might feel when trying to please a friend or to fit in, it's also a really fun and accessible read.

If you like Jacqueline Wilson or Kathy Cassidy books, then I really recommend this book to you.

It's "Ella on the Outside" by Cath Howe.

My next story is a nother story about someone, two people starting a new school.

And this story, "The Unforgotten Coat" is by Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Now Frank Cottrell Boyce is an author I definitely think you should know about.

He has written lots and lots of novels and they are brilliantly funny.

And I really recommend them to anyone and everyone to read.

Perhaps you've heard of "Millions" or "Broccoli Boy", that was the first one I read by him.

Now 'The Unforgotten Coat" also covers the story of two young people, transposed from Mongolia to the streets of Liverpool.

These brothers are determined to fit in at their new school.

This is an important story told with human and wonderful details.

It also includes fantastic atmospheric Polaroid photos, you can see from the cover it's won a prize as well.

My final recommendation is a different genre.

This is called "The Boy in the Tower" by Polly Ho-Yen.

Ade loves living at the top of the tower block from which he feels like he can see the whole world around him.

One day, a very stable building near his home falls down.

Luckily no one is hurt, but the buildings keep falling down with no reason whatsoever.

Whilst this is technically a science fiction novel, it feels very real.

This is a book about friendship, loyalty and bravery set in a very believable urban city environment.

It's moving and thought provoking.

So I wonder if these recommendations is there one that you would like to read? Press pause and say its name.

Well done.

So what are your recommended reads? I've told you mine.

What would you like to recommend? Press pause and write down two or three books that you would recommend to a friend.


Now we are going to explore character traits.

Character traits are a way of describing an aspect of a character's personality.

It can help when we're doing that commendations or describing a character from a book.

So what character traits are there? These are things like being kind or being brave.

Can you pause the video and write down as many character traits as you can think of? Press pause.

Okay, let's have a look at some of those that I thought of.

A character might be brave or independent.

That means they think for themselves.

Gentle or determined, they don't give up.

A character could be cautious or defiant.

They don't listen to the rules.

A character could be calm or observant.

If they're in a mystery story, it would help to be observant, that means they notice details.

So you can see these words are all adjectives.

We often describe someone's personality, we described them as an adjective, but we can also turn these adjectives into nouns.

So we might say a character is brave, but talk about their bravery.

A character is independent, but we talk about their independence.

We might say a character is determined and talk about their determination.

Often when we turn these adjectives into nouns, we add a suffix like ary, ends, ness, or ation.

Determined, determination.

When we're writing about the characters, we might want to talk about the adjective or the noun.

So now is your opportunity to write about your chosen character.

So when you thought of the recommended text, the story that you liked, I want you to choose a character from one of those stories and write why you like that character.

If you didn't choose a book that was fiction, can you now think of a story that has a character that you would choose? First of all, I want you to start off by saying which character you like and why using a character trait.

So for example, you might say, I like the character, Hermione from the "Harry Potter" books, because she is smart and ambitious.

You can see I've included two character traits.

Or you might say I like the character, Alex, from the "Alex Rider" books, because he is daring and defiant.

Can you now write a similar sentence for a character that you choose.

Press Pause.

Well done.

But of course, when we are describing a character and their character traits, we probably need to explain.

We don't need to only make the point.

We also need to explain it with evidence.

So when I'm talking about Hermione, I might say she demonstrates this ambition when she insists on taking as many lessons as possible.

So I'm talking about Hermione, who is ambitious.

She demonstrates this ambition.

That's the noun, when she insists on taking as many lessons as possible, we'll look at another example.

This is about Alex Rider.

He demonstrates this defiance, because remember I described him as defiant.

He demonstrates this defiance when he chooses to ignore a direct instruction from his superior.

So now can you look back at the sentence you wrote? I want you to write a second sentence showing how your character demonstrates this character trait.

Press pause, off you go.

Well done.

So now we've warmed ourselves up.

We are ready to describe a favourite character.

We'll start off by looking at an example, and I've chosen to describe Auggie from the book "Wonder", Auggie is short for August.

You can pause the video and read this first, and then I will read it to you.

Press pause now.

Okay, now I'm going to read it to you.

I admire the character August from the book "Wonder".

He is brave and resilient.

He demonstrates his bravery by going to school for the first time, despite his worries and concerns about meeting other pupils.

He is resilient because he keeps going, even when others are mean and rude to him.

For example, when he is teased on the camping trip.

I want to point out a few things that I've included in my description.

First of all, can you see, I've used those purple inverted comments around the book, title "Wonder".

This is a convention that we use when we write the name of a book.

Then can you see I've written how he demonstrates the character trait.

I described him as brave, but then I've explained how he demonstrates this.

He demonstrates his bravery by going to school for the first time.

You can see, I talked about another character trait below, resilience.

He is resilient and I've extended this sentence with a because to explain why he is resilient and then not only have I explained his character trait resilience, I then give an example with for example.

I said the character trait, I've explained what it means, and then I'd given an example.

So this is the way that we can do quite an in depth character description using our character traits.

So now is your chance to describe your favourite character.

It could be a character you admire.

It could be a character you love to hate.

It could be a character who taught you something or a character who makes you laugh.

You could choose the ones you included before that you wrote about before, or you could choose a new character.

So pause the video now and write your character description.

Well done.

In today's lesson, we have discussed reading for pleasure.

We've thought about what empathy is.

We've shared recommended reads.

I've recommended to you, and you've thought of your own recommendations.

We've explored character traits and use those to help us to describe a favourite character.

I really hope you use your character description to read to a parent or carer or a friend to recommend a book that you love to them.

Congratulations, you have completed your lesson.

Happy reading.