Open minded portraits are a fun way to think about the characters in a book and imagine what they might be thinking at critical places in the text. Imagine you could ‘open their minds’ and look inside. Originally, this activity was a two-dimensional drawing task. Students selected a book character and drew his or her portrait on the outer sides of a large piece of paper. They then cut around the shape to have a folded character’s head, featuring a face drawn on one side and the back of the head on the other.
Then they opened up the inside of the head, that is, they opened up the character’s ‘mind’, and wrote down what they believed the character was thinking at a critical part of the story they had been reading.
The children came together to share their ideas about the thinking of the characters in the book they had been reading.
This activity is easily adapted to PowerPoint because its visual interface allows students to display one or more characters on screen alongside the text of the story at critical moments. Students can insert buttons over the characters’ ‘minds’ and link these to pages displaying their thinking at these important moments in the story.
On a Mac:
… and on Windows
Here are some screen shots of what it might look like:
Other hyperlinks can allow the viewer to move around within the open minded portrait and discover what else the character is thinking at other parts of the story.
All pages link back to the main menu.
To ensure that the only way to move about is by clicking on the characters’ minds, that is, by using the navigational tools, students will need to find ‘Set Up Show’ in the menu and Browsed at a Kiosk.
Can you finish making an Open Minded Portrait for Red Riding Hood? Click on the link below to download the unfinished PowerPoint.
Here is an example of a more complex Open Minded Portrait, based on the characters of Timothy and Phillip from Theodore Taylor’s ‘The Cay’.
And here are the instructions for how to make it.