Characterization Teacher Resources
Find Characterization educational ideas and activities
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Characterization in Literature
Learners discover characterization techniques and methods. In this characterization activity, students choose favorite fiction characters and discuss what makes a character come alive. Learners then describe a family member or a friend and create a character to use in a brief script. Students then trace the historical development of minor characters and flat vs. round characters.
Elements of Literature: Characterization
Looks, says, does. Show your writers how to bring characters to life. Color-coded slides highlight various methods of characterization and how to spot clues to a character’s motivation. A great addition to your curriculum library!
Creative Ways To Teach Characterization Lessons
Teaching characterization can be a creative, engaging experience for students.
Characterization Lessons for Middle School Students
Students learn characterization by writing about a special person in their life.
Dear Abby: A Direct and Indirect Characterization Lesson Plan
Students practice identifying and creating examples of characterization based on comprehension. They assess direct and indirect characterization and use conflict in a plot to generate a piece of writing. Each student selects accurate adjectives and verbs to write responses to literature.
Standards Focus: Characterization in To Kill a Mockingbird
In this To Kill a Mockingbird characterization worksheet, students compete a characterization chart on several characters from the novel. The chart is detailed and includes both direct and indirect characterization categories.
Assessing Character and Characterization
Students develop original characters as protagonists and antagonists. In this characterization lesson, students write brief character sketches for their original characters. Students also assess each others characters by exchanging character sketches using the unit-to-unit cables provided. Students follow prompts designed to facilitate meaningful critiques.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: Sketching a Portrait--Characterization
John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is known for rich character development. Expose your class to indirect characterization and all that it involves with this worksheet. Learners look at quotes, determine what method of characterization is demonstrated in each quote, and describe what the quote shows about the character. Great for a homework assignment or a quick review of indirect characterization, this resource is nicely formatted and clear.
Elements of Narration
Through this three-day lesson, learners will develop an understanding of several elements of narration such as plot, characterization, setting, point of view, and theme. Reading several fiction texts and taking notes using dialectical journaling, your class will make analytical observations, comparisons, and ask textual questions. Using the data collected, they will present their findings in an analysis. Home connections, extensions, and differentiation activities included.
Direct and Indirect Characterization: A Tale of Two Cities --Mr. Lorry
“Very orderly and methodical he looked, with a hand on each knee, and a loud watch ticking a sonorous sermon under his flapped waistcoat, as though it pitted its gravity and longevity against the levity and evanescence of the brisk fire.” Dickens’ diction and syntax can cause readers, even those familiar with 19th Century prose, to stumble. Provide your pupils with an opportunity to tackle complex text with a series of exercises based on a brief excerpt from A Tale of Two Cities. Brief writing assignments, a fill-in-the-blank quiz, and guided questions for the passage are included in the plan.
New! Characterization and Nonfiction: Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?"
What does a speech reveal about the speaker? Pupils explore this question and more as they conduct a close reading of Sojourner Truth's speech. Class members activate a series of skills related to the Common Core as they analyze the text, including citing textual evidence, writing analytical commentary, using research skills, and executing a questioning strategy.
Analyze the Development of a Character by Considering Direct and Indirect Characterization
Here’s a video that examines direct and indirect characterization in a story. Using “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” as an anchor text, the narrator highlights words and phrases that reveal character traits and models how to determine if these are examples are direct or indirect methods of characterization. The narrator then considers why Bierce might have presented Peyton Farquhar in this fashion. The second of a six-part close reading series, the video could easily stand alone, but would work best if readers were familiar with the story and if used with the other videos in the series.
Students hone their skills at identifying the principle story in a work of art and text. Through discussion, students assess the central and supporting stories of a work of art that is characterized by multiple layers of action and meaning.
Activity I: Exploring Theme
All stories contain themes. Examine the theme of an assigned story (the lesson suggests To Kill a Mockingbird). Your class can either read a story or watch a DVD to analyze the main theme of the story. They identify terms such as theme, conflict, dialogue, characterization, repetition, and symbol.
Read then role-play the characters from story of If You Give A Pig a Pancake. Young actors use improvisation and characterization to create the characters from the story. They will also write and role play original version of the story (this can be done in a group with younger learners).
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Students complete characterization activities for the Mark Twain novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. For this characterization lesson, students analyze the characters of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher to complete character sketches. Students also identify 3 sayings in Tom Sawyer to explain and illustrate.
Direct and Indirect Characterization
How does an author develop his or her characters? Using the short story "On the Bridge" by Todd Strasser, readers study character development by looking for examples of both direct and indirect characterization. They plot these points on the graphic organizer provided, and learn how direct and indirect characterization are linked.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Characterization Activity
Oskar Schell's narrative about his expedition to find out more about his father serves as a model for writers who are crafting their own narratives. Class members choose two characters from the novel and collect examples of the methods Jonathan Safran Foer uses to establish his characters. They then apply these methods to their own tales. A peer editing form is included in the detailed plan.
The Art of Charity in Characterization
Students garner knowledge of characterization of the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and see that even the less savory characters must be flushed out in description of personality and physical traits.
Students use excerpts from the book, "Pappa's Parrot," in order to discuss the direct and indirect characterization of the characters they are reading about. In this characterization lesson plan, students choose examples of each type of characterization that are embedded in the plan.