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- Kristina C., Special Education Teacher
- Covina, CA
Character Development Teacher Resources
Find Character Development educational ideas and activities
Students explore the concept of character development. In this character development lesson, 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.
Ninth graders examine how many words in the English language originate from the Greek language, and complete a Greek word worksheet. Next, they discuss the concept of character development. Students read the short story "The Wicked Barber's Plight," and participate in a class discussion of the characterization in the story.
Moral choices arise when a character is imbued with great talent or super powers. A study of these choices form the basis of a unit focused on character development in the first two novels of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series. The richly detailed plans include step-by-step lessons, activities, extensions, journal prompts, and culminating activities. A great resource.
Students examine the ways a character changes throughout the course of a story. In this literary analysis lesson, students discuss a story that spans three years in a young girl's life. Students analyze the changes the girl experiences in her life in the context of the overall plot of the story. Students complete a handout that compares two different years of the girl's life.
Learners research language arts by analyzing several holiday stories. In this character development lesson, students read A Christmas Carol and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas while identifying the characters, plot and settings. Learners complete a worksheet in which they demonstrate the similarities and differences between the main characters in both stories.
Pupils use songs to analyze their sense of identity and self-worth. In groups, they discuss and explore their own character development and discover how far they have come in recent years. They also identify the positive and negative choices when confronted with peer pressure.
Sixth graders discover how to predict how a character will develop in a book. In this character development instructional activity, 6th graders use their knowledge of the main character to predict how they will develop throughout the book. Students must use insight and observations to make these predictions.
Character development, setting, and plot? Sounds like the makings of a good narrative story. Young authors read and analyze several narrative examples, and then they use what they know to pen an original composition. They work both in groups and independently to brainstorm, discuss, and complete graphic organizers prior to beginning their story.
Over the course of a week, the class will study how monsters are portrayed throughout literature. But why? Monsters in science fiction or horror often depict the darker side of human nature; they are described for their horrific physical characteristics that act as metaphorical realizations of their maladjusted human character traits. The class is split into four groups, each group will create a play based on the monsters they create, the plays are performed and then one of the monsters will be put on trial and judged for his crimes. Note: Kids tend to get out of hand and silly when creating fictitious or fantastic characters, this lesson will help ground them in the need for complex character development.
"Monkey's Paw," W.W. Jacob's horror story, is used to model for viewers how to use a writer's diction to analyze characters. Words describing the characters' actions, comments, and appearance are highlighted. After re-examining the highlighted text, two or more character traits are selected that are revealed by these passages. For guided practice, consider giving groups different excerpts from the story, asking them to repeat the process, and then having them share their findings with the class.
How does an author make a character, and what effect does that effort have on the piece of literature as a whole? Tackle these questions and more with the video, slides, and guided notes provided here. The narrator of the video zooms in on a paragraph in "Mrs. Manstey's View" by Edith Wharton, highlights words and phrases that describe the setting, and relates these descriptions to the main character. The video does directly tell viewers about each part, so you might use the video to start and then ask individuals or small groups to complete the guided notes, which include the passage in the video as well as a second passage for analysis.
In this character development worksheet, students record information about a character from their reading. Students determine whether the character is a main character or a minor character and determine likes and dislikes, family data, background, and identify traits and qualities that the character possesses.
Second graders draw pictures and create Venn Diagrams to compare the life of two book characters. In this literature lesson, 2nd graders learn about character development by studying Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper. A guest speaker shares with students about life in England. Lesson includes suggestions for vocabulary development and extension activities.
Analyze characterization in literature. Readers use "Three Shots," from The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway and complete classroom activities that require them to apply literary analysis techniques. They write their own short stories that feature character development, conflict, and themes.
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s unconventional “Sonnet VII” is the anchor text for a series of videos that model for viewers how to use text-based questions to guide close reading of a text. In this, the third video in the series, the narrator models how to analyze the development of a character to determine an author’s message. Although the video can stand alone, viewers would gain the most benefit from watching the entire series.