Statues – Character Analysis and Vocabulary Development

Topic: Character Analysis and Vocabulary Development
CLI Strategy: Statues
Subject : ELA
Grade: Lower Elementary
TEKS: K.5, 8; 1.6, 9; 2.5, 9, 11

Students will be able to: ​​​Make inferences based on text evidence to show character feelings and embody unfamiliar vocabulary.


  • Preview read aloud to determine robust vocabulary and moments when you would like students to connect with characters and events.
  • Tell students that as you read, the class is going to create frozen, silent, whole body statues to show their comprehension of the story.
  • Throughout the read aloud, ask students to show on their faces how characters are feeling.
  • After reading a sentence with one of your chosen vocabulary words, ask students to infer the word meaning, using context clues. Ask students to stand to create a statue representing the vocabulary word.
  • Choose exemplary facial expressions or vocabulary statues to spotlight, asking those students to stand for everyone to see. Reflect on the statues with the class:
    • Describe:​ What do you see? (Help students to describe the statue’s arms, legs, facial expression, focal point)
    • Analyze:​ How do these statues represent [character/vocabulary word]?
    • Relate:​ In what ways can you relate to this [character/vocabulary word]?

Extension – Narrative Pantomime:

  • After the read aloud, inform students they are going to retell and act out the story silently, in place. Have students stand up silently one by one and pretend they are in their own “space bubble.”
  • Ask guiding questions to help students retell and act out the story, and paraphrase student responses while the class silently acts out the story. For example:

Teacher Guiding Question: “How did the story begin?”

Student Response: “Little Red Riding Hood was going to her Grandmother’s house.”

Teacher Paraphrase (spoken while students act): “Imagine you’re Little Red Riding Hood walking through the forest to Grandma’s house. Look up at the towering tree tops. Listen to the leaves crunch under your feet. Show me on your faces how you’re feeling.”

  • Continue the routine: Pose a question while students freeze in place. Gather student responses. Paraphrase responses while students act them out.

Learn More at

Have you used Statues in your classroom? Let us know how it worked for you in the comments below!


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