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Character Analysis Activities

Compiled By: Mrs. G

This is a collection of ideas to use in reading when teaching character.

Posted by: misswalton

graphic organizers work well for me. you can do quilt squares where there's a small square in the middle and four lines connecting the corners of the small square and the bigger square. In the small square right the characters name. Then in the other 4 sections do things like - draw how the character look, draw a friend of the character, draw where the friend lives, and then how the 2 characters feel about each other at the end of the story.

You can also do webs with the characters name in the middle. Character pyrimids work too. There you can stack up different things about the characters such as traits, qualities, hwo the character changes, relationships they have, feelings, actions or behaviors, and problems.

Character dolls are cute too. You have two dolls connected at the arms and legs. One represents one character and the other doll another. The students can write to compare and contrast the two characters. Or both dolls can be one character. you could describe the characters appearance, actions, dralogue and relationships on one and on the other talk about how the character changes from beginning to end.

You could create a chart. it could have three columns. In the first column the students would write a feeling the character felt. Then they would have to find the page number and write it in the next column and then write or draw proof of that feeling in the last column. On another chart you could have two columns/4 rows. the top of each row says something like sees, does, feels, and thinks, and then below each the students have to describes what the character sees, does, etc. inthe story.

Venn Diagrams work wonders...

Talk about verbs and adjectives to help describe the characters

I'm not sure if any of these help. There are TONS of literature books available that have re-printables about character traits. Good luck - let me know if you need more ideas :)

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Connect the character to a theme or idea
Posted by: m&mTeach

I think one way of teaching it deeply is by connecting it to an idea or theme. During my "character" unit, I create a chart for each book I read. The chart had 3 columns with the headings: What the book says, What this says about the character (trait), So an idea in this story might be . . .

As I was reading, I would stop at parts where the students had to do some inferring. For example, with the book, The Honest-to-Goodness Truth, I copied a sentence from the book that is similar to this in the first column: ". . . Her eyes were watery and her bottom lip quivered. She felt like she had swallowed a handful of chicken feathers." I would ask what does this say about the character? (trait adjective) Guilty, Regretful, etc. I would write students responses in the second column. Then I would ask, "so this book might be about. . ." (idea noun) Regret, Guilt. I would write this in the third column. At the end of the book, we would reflect on the traits/ideas that were the most important in the book.

I spent quite a while on Eve Bunting books- her books are so rich with layered and deep characters. A great one is Sunshine Home. (These are all picture books though).

I hope this all makes sense. (I can't attach anything yet, otherwise, I'd post a picture of my chart).

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interviews/another activity
Posted by: Rebecca

Students choose a book to read. Then they "become" a character from the book. Students will be partnered up so they make a list of questions to ask their partner's character. It can have to do with characteristics, other characters, setting, plot, problem/solution, cause/effect,etc. The students then partner up. They take turns interviewing each other. Then they report to the class what they learned about the character.

****Before they do this activity I model this for them. I choose a character from a book. We do a "picture walk" through the book. I ask for questions they would want to ask. I choose some questions that I would like to ask. Then we role play "interviewing" in class. I become the character and I let them take turns asking me the questions. I feel it is important to model this for them before they begin. Ofcourse when they get with their partner they haven't seen their partner's book or character but they have a start with the questions we asked in class.

One other activity is to have the students write a letter to the character asking them questions pertaining to the story.

Hope you can make sense of this!

Activity - art project
Posted by: Julie

I am a first year teacher and havn't found the appropriate time to do this with my sixth graders but it is an activity that we learned in college.

It is a Character Kite
1. The actual Kite the students put their favorite character OR the main character of the book. They can decorate the kite in their own creative style. A suggestion would be to draw a picture of what they think the character looks like or maybe do a collage of pictures of things associated with the character.

2. Punch a hole at the bottom tip of the kite so that you can tie string to it. (you may even suggest they use those stickers that have a hole punched in them to make certain the hole doesn't get torn. Or use tape.)

3. After you get the string attached, they are going to make "flags" for their kite string. On each flag they are going to put facts about the character or things that happened to the character. You can assign as many "flags" as you want.

4. Tie the "flags" to the string. Again, you will punch a hole in each flag in order to attach the flags to the string.

5. Have them add any creative touches to the kite as they wish. Done.

this is sort of like a character map but it doesn't involve a writing assigment.
Hope this helps

Character "Stick Person"
Posted by: SandyJ

Use this as a model for whatever story character you are focusing on....The kids love to do this and they make much better stick figures than me! ;)

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appositives neat way to teach
Posted by: Chrisie

Hi there,
I was at a workshop recently and the instructor gave an idea for teaching appositives.

From a list of adjectives or character traits, have the students circle 6 that apply to their character ( in the independent or group book they are reading).

On the list have some harder words that they need to look up in the dictionary.

Have them then create sentences with appositives for character such as:

Jesse, a diligent, or hard working, boy really wants his family to be more rich.

The kids are writing appositives or descriptive phrases while analyzing seems like a great activity!

Hot seating
Posted by: Fla. Teacher

I love doing hot seating, an activity that we were taught back in Britain when I was a student.
First you read a chapter and put chairs (hot seats) out the front of the class for the characters that were just discussed in the chapter. You choose student to be the characters in the chapter and one to be the chair.
All questions go through the chairperson and it is their job to make sure each character has a chance to act out their part.
The rest of the class have to think up questions to ask such as .."Why did you like pulling her pigtails?"(I do not remember the character's name)
They have to put themselves inside the character's shoes.
This helps students to learn to infer the feelings of the characters in the book.
This can be done with most subjects including social studies.
Hope this is helpful. Great book by the way :)

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Book Characters
Posted by: Amy

When I was student teaching we did this activity. We picked one book for our class. Everyone had to dress up as a character from our book. It was really fun having a lot of Arthurs and DW's running around the room. I enjoyed watching the different costumes they came up with for the same character. I dressed up as someone from the book too!

Character Report Cards
Posted by: Ms. J

Although this doesn't necessarily introduce them to a variety of traits all at once, you can introduce 4-5 at a time and gradually add to your list.

I just had my students do this today, and they loved it. I explained that they were going to give a character from a recent story we read a report card. On the report card, it listed a trait, a place for the student to write in a grade, and a few lines that provided an explanation for the grade. The traits listed on this report card were intelligence, courageous, friendship, and responsible.

The traits can be changed each time, and they really understand this concept. The students loved being "the teacher" and really provided interesting insight as to why they gave the character the grade they did.

Hope this helps you!

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Act it out
Posted by: BirdSong

You can start class by acting a certain way (say stressed out about something, or extremely excited). Have students brainstorm what that says about your character. This is also great for drawing conclusions. A teacher I worked with last year did something a little off the beaten path for her observation. She had someone call her cell phone at a certain time. When she answered it, she made it seem as though it was a very serious call and she was sad....the kids drew the conclusion that someone she was close to must have been hurt. Of course she explained that it was all an act to make a point. Roll play is always a great way to teach skills like these.

YOu could give students character cards describing the character and what that character might say or do. The student must act it out for the class and the class has to describe the character. You can put kids in pairs or small groups for this too.

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