Character Teacher Resources

Find Character educational ideas and activities

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Young readers delve into The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan with a discussion and writing activity about characterization. After reading the first four chapters of the book, they discuss the various obstacles that the characters face, such as social prejudice or racial discrimination. Next, they write a story about a family member to capture their character, using the vignettes in the novel as a model. The homework assignment prompts kids to finish the rest of the section in the book, as well as answer a brief question about June's piano playing.
What do Robert Downey Jr., Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Fritz Weaver, Roger Moore, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Daffy Duck have in common? Why, it’s elementary, my dear Watson! They all have portrayed Sherlock Holmes. Literary detectives launch an investigation of how varying portrayals of a character influence a drama. The approach detailed here could be used with a wide range of literature.  From Romeo and Juliet to The Great Gatsby, your sleuths will be engaged in the search for clues that reveal how who done it changes everything.
How do you know what a character's personality is like if an author doesn't tell you? With a focus on character development in Esperanza Rising, pupils complete a jigsaw activity to analyze the actions of Mama, Abuelita, and Miguel. Once group members have shared with their expert group and their own group of three, they compare and contrast the other characters to Esperanza. Class members must make inferences using author details and character behavior. During this well-sequenced lesson, learners will complete a quiz, participate in a jigsaw activity, create posters and charts, and write briefly for an exit ticket, and close with a discussion about human rights.
Cover the canine characters in The Call of the Wild through discussion and writing. Small groups complete a jigsaw-style activity, with each group focusing on one dog and using textual evidence to back up their ideas. Next, individuals respond in writing to several provided questions about the fight between Buck and Spitz. The handout referenced at the very beginning of the plan is included in the materials tab.
Make a study of Timothy and his development as a character over the course of the first half or so of The Cay. This idea focuses in particular on chapters 10 through 12. Learners start out by working on double-entry journals created in an earlier lesson. Next, they discuss Timothy and make a list of what the know about his background. Finally, they use this list and any other help you provide to write an analytical response to a provided prompt about Timothy. 
Delve into narrative writing that puts choice in the hands of the writers. Kids pick their own characters, emotions, items, and places from a list and tie them together in the exposition. Several questions help guide the writers toward fully understanding and developing the characters in their story. 
Combining art, music, dance, and reading comprehension, this lesson is geared to reach all ability levels. After reading a variety of fables and discussing story elements and character traits, class members select a moral to use as the basis of their own fable about two characters, one with foibles and one without. Your fabulists then collaborate on a class mural, a music composition, and a dance which reflect the traits of characters in their stories. Document it all on a class website.
Students read Geronimo Stilton books to examine how to identify character traits and personalities based on the author's descriptions. They write their own descriptions and interpretations of characters to help with understanding and connections with their own personal life experiences.
Sixth graders read Katherine Paterson's novel, Bridge to Terabithia, and watch a video of Maurice Sendak's book, Where the Wild Things Are. They examine the characters in both stories that share similar characteristics. Students use the labels "static" and "dynamic" when considering the characters from the stories.
Students read a variety of Cinderella tales from different cultures. They discuss the differences in character, plot, and conflict resolution in the stories from different countries.
Fifth graders examine internal characteristics. For this character traits lesson, 5th graders discuss character emotions, motivations, and goals. Students use a graphic organizer and list to assist them while reading.
Fifth graders write external characteristics. For this character traits lesson students use a graphic organizer to map out their character's external characteristics. Students describe a realistic character to appeal to the audience.
Identify main and secondary characters from a fiction story. Kindergartners do a picture walk with the teacher, and then do the identifying on their own with another book. A good assignment for groups or a whole class to complete.
Students create an advertisement promoting good behavior. This character-development lesson plan from Boys Town High School involves students studying the history of the Got Milk?advertising campaign. After a discussion of marketing techniques, students create their own advertisements promoting "character" to others in their school.
Students explore the concept of character development. In this character development instructional activity, students watch a video segment regarding a family's struggle with cancer. Students examine the personality, situation, motivation, and actions of the man in the video as they keep a character journal and write an essay.
Students read historic or contemporary fiction that is set in and around castles. Then they build castles and characters to use in retelling stories, demonstrating their understanding of fiction texts and period architecture. Students also write their own narrative fiction, including detailed descriptions of the characters and castle setting
Students participate in a lesson examining the concept of character and how it is the foundation of lasting human relationships. They examine character traits that are considered positive and then define the differences between personality and character.
Students use descriptive strategies such as physical descriptions, background, and comparison of characters when writing narratives. They develop the topic with supporting details and precise diction to paint a visual image in the reader's mind.
Students develop older versions of child or adolescent characters from favorite works of literature, adapting them for teenage or adult sequels. They each outline a sequel and write its first chapter.
Some of what we know about a character is directly stated. Some of what we know is inferred by events in the story. Character maps help primary learners recognize the difference. After modeling with a story your class has read, pupils choose a character from one of their favorite books and use the maps to record and analyze traits. A character map template is available from Microsoft Visio.