The Great Rhyme Travel Machine Presents:
African American Heroes

Story Characters - Multi-Level Format

(Image) Picture of Marcus


Marcus                                                                     5% of story

Stage 2 - Beginning Reader

My name is Marcus. Along with my twin sister, Melinda, I enjoy going to Summersville Elementary School. Even though I’m not the best at sports, I can read more books in a week than any other kid in my grade! Whenever I get my hands on a science or history book, I am totally happy. I get lost in those pages. I love to experiment with new things that I’ve read about, but I’m always careful. Our teacher, Miss Chalk encourages me to explore the things I’m interested in through reading and observation. Maybe one day I’ll be a famous scientist … who knows?

(Image) Melinda

Melinda                                                                     10% of story

Stage 3 - Transitional Reader

My name is Melinda. I’m 12 years old and I attend Summersville Elementary School. All the kids know me because of my long curly red hair. I like that! Everyone also knows that my favorite thing in this whole world is MATH! I could spend hours playing math games and solving problems. If you need help with a calculation, then I’m the girl to call. My teachers and friends say that I’m a smart kid. Well, I try to be! Oh! I also have a twin brother named Marcus who is really super cool…but don’t tell him I said that!

(Image) Picture of George

George                                                                  9% of story

Stage 3 - Transitional Reader

My name is George. I was born a slave in 1863 in the state of Missouri. When slavery ended I was adopted by a very kind family who taught me to read and write. Besides books, my favorite activity is taking long walks in the woods to study anything green! I admit … I do have a natural talent for growing things. Some folks even call me the “plant doctor!” That’s an odd name, but I like it. It fits me. When I’m not spying on plants, I’m usually painting them. Maybe one day I’ll use my paint brush to help others take note of the beauty in a simple rose. There is an art to science that some people don’t see … but I see it!

(Image) Picture of Shirley

Shirley                                                              8% of story

Stage 3 - Transitional Reader

My name is Shirley. I was born in 1924 in Brooklyn, New York. I love to talk! Even as a youngster, I would always say to older kids, “Listen to me!” I spent most of my growing up years on my grandmother’s farm in Barbados. My sisters and I could swim in the warm ocean all year long. Back in the states, our parents worked hard to save money. They have a wonderful dream of sending all of us girls to college! Since my family came back to New York, we take care of each other the best we can. I keep my mind on my books and my studies. One day I know I’ll make my parents proud. Maybe I’ll be a teacher or a principal … as long as I get to talk a lot!

(Image) Picture of Kelly

Kelly                                                                          11% of story

Stage 4 - Intermediate Reader

My name is Kelly. I bet you’ve heard of me. Folks say that I’m the “class clown” because I’m always playing jokes. Hey, it’s true! I love to make people smile. There are too many frowners in this world, if you know what I mean. I have a great way of making my mom smile too. You see, I’m a pretty good speller and I always get good grades on my tests. It makes my mom so proud, she grins from ear to ear. It’s my favorite smile to see.

(Image) Picture of Miss Chalk  (Image) Picture of Sarah Chalk

Miss Chalk/ Sarah Chalk                            10% of story

Stage 4 - Intermediate Reader

My name is Miss Chalk. I teach history and science at Summersville Elementary school. School is never boring when I’m around! We have fun while we learn. When I was a little girl people said I couldn’t read very well. I decided right then that I would dedicate my life to books and helping other kids feel good about themselves. I love being a teacher! Even though I’ve taught for many years, everyday is still a new adventure. And when you have students, like Melinda, Marcus and Kelly, the adventures can be pretty awesome!

Narrator                                                                      34% of story

Stage 5 - Advanced Reader

As the narrator, I am the master storyteller! It's up to me to keep the story alive and interesting with each exciting detail. So, I must read everything with expression and excitement!