Open Minded Portraits


 The Open Mind Portrait strategy provides an opportunity for students to create and represent personal meanings for a story. It enables them to understand a character’s perspective or point of view.
Open-mind portrait
An open-mind portrait gives you the chance to illustrate aspects of a book’s character at important times during the story. Below is an example of an open-mind portrait of the character Sarah from the book Sarah Plain and Tall. This portrait illustrates Sarah’s face, then it shows what objects, events, or people were important to her at a certain point in the book. Click on the starfish below, and you will get a sheet to make an open-mind portrait about Hailey or Claire.
This strategy requires students to create a visual representation of meaning they gained from reading the text.
1. Students draw and color a portrait of a character from a story or a person from a biography.
2. Students cut out the portrait and use it to trace on one or several sheets of paper to create one or more blank head shapes.
3. Staple the color portrait and the blank sheets together.
4. On the blank pages, students draw or write about the person’s thoughts and feelings throughout the text
5. Share Open-Mind portraits in book clubs, Literature Circles, or class meeting time.
McLaughlin, Maureen. Allen, Mary Beth. (2002). Guided Comprehension: a teaching model for grades 3-8. Newark, DE: IRA
Tompkins, G.E. (2001). Literacy for the 21st Century: A balanced approach (2nd ed.)
        Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.