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  • ekbray6

Digging Deeper into Character

I know as teachers we are busy, and sometimes we just need something for the day. In this post, please find lots of activities to do with character. Some are worksheets, some videos, some slide decks.

You could combine these items into a unit about character or use periodically throughout a school year. Under each resource is a brief explanation of how to use them and some teaching tips.

Character Profile
Download DOCX • 110KB

A great place to start for students is having them create a profile for their character. It asks them basic questions to help them create non-cliche round characters.

*Teaching students about round and flat characters is also a great activity before attempting this worksheet*

Character connects to plot
Download DOCX • 92KB

A great way to get students to have deep characters is to show them how characters help to make a plot more interesting and to raise the stakes. It is no fun to read about a wealthy girl with talent becoming a rock star. Instead have students think about how something that is important for their character make it hard for them to complete the task. (Their flaw, upbringing, beliefs, etc.

Included on this resource is a example page for students to get an idea of what they are being asked to do. *I find including examples to be the number one predictor of students a) doing the exercise correctly, and b) doing it at all.

character sketches
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This is an assignment that allows students to get up and move. There are a few ways to do this assignment. 1. Give students all of the strips, have them cut them out, then connect them in ways they think would make for strong stories. *This could be modified by having students work in pairs OR giving students only one type of story strip so they had to go talk to others. 2. You could print one copy of the strip and put 1 on a big piece of paper and have students walk around and write down ideas that went with the idea on the strip. You can then post these posters around the room for students to use while they are writing.

mentor texts character
Download DOCX • 17KB

This worksheet gives students a chance to look at professional examples of characterization. This is a good document to use when you have been working on showing and not telling.

This video is a great way to help support the idea that characters should be have flaws and that makes it interesting. I highly recommend pairing it with the character connects with plot worksheet above.

Character Introduction_
Download DOCX • 8KB

Introducing the idea of showing not telling to students? Have them write a character introduction of themselves where they must show things about them. This is a great early year assignment. This example is about me. You could keep it or write one about yourself using mine as a guide.

*I have had students write an intro to themselves day one and then in the next few weeks once we have gone over showing and telling, have the revise their introduction to use these techniques. It not only gives you more time to learn about them, it also allows them to use revision early in the year. Another great idea is to use this as an "I do, we do, you do" activity. You can go over my example by yourself, have them help you create your own, and then have them write theirs.

This google slides presentation has three things in it.

1. Adoptable characters. I find that the number one reason students can't/won't get started is because they have a hard time creating characters. By giving them a small boost in the direction they need to go they are much more likely to start writing. Included in this powerpoint are a bunch or vague characters that could fit in any genre, time period, etc. *I printed this out and have an "adopt a character" binder that students can access at anytime.

2. A class activity to create ideas. Slide background have been changed to white so you can print directly form the slide show for students. It also includes an example (background in white) for ease of printing. Students create their own adoptable vague character. Then they pass them around and write a potential plot/scene for each one they get.

*This also helps students to see that you can put an original spin on ANY character, genre, etc. This is a helpful activity when talking about tropes as well.

How did these go for you? What other kinds of resources would you like to see? Let me know :)

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