Grade: Middle
Subject: Literature

#1205. What a Character!

Literature, level: Middle
Posted Tue Jul 27 14:17:58 PDT 1999 by Ivy Mermelstein (

Pennbrook Middle School, North Wales, PA
Materials Required: Book(s), paper, pens, pencils,graphic organizers
Activity Time: 2-3 class periods
Concepts Taught: Characterization

Description: After reading a novel, students should have a thorough understanding of characters' personality. Since characterization is crucial to understanding fiction, it is necessary for the students to be able to analyze the characters.

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze a character in a novel by identifying a least 3 character traits and providing proof of those traits in writing.

Prior to the activity, teacher will have already discussed characterization with class, modeled how to identify a character trait and find proof in the text. Students will have been keeping a chart or web of the different character's identity.

Activities and Procedures: Day 1- Students may work alone, with partners or in small cooperative groups. Have them choose a character from the novel read. Give them a T chart graphic organizer to fill out. Along with the Title and author of the book, they should write the character's name. Then tell them to find as many traits as they can about their character. On the left side of the T, write trait, and on the right side, write evidence. Here they are to find and write down the page# and the passage which illustrates that trait. This activity is worth 10 points based on accuracy and completeness.

Day 2: Teacher will return all charts and help those students who need assistance. Students will use their charts to do one of the following characterization projects.
A. On small poster board draw a character from the novel based on the descriptions in the book. Include 3 excerpts with page numbers which reveal the character's personality. Print neatly or word process these excerpts.

Evaluation by rubric:
Attention to detail (15 points)
Effort/Creativity (15 points)
Effective excerpts (20 points)

B. Write a 2 page double spaced script with dialogue and narration which would reveal the character's personality. You may further develop an incident from the book or add a new chapter etc.
Evaluation by rubric:
Accurate portrayal of character (35 points)
Spelling, mechanics (10 points)
Format (5 points)

C. Write 5 journal entries from the point of view of your character. The journal should include the character's feelings, reactions, beliefs about a specific event in the story or about the problem or other characters.
Evaluation by rubric:
Accurate analyzation of character (35 points) 7 per
Spelling, mechanics (10 points)
Format (5points)

Day 3 ( Does not have to be consecutive) Students share projects.

Follow up activities/extensions:--Students can make a character postcard by going online:
If author is alive, e-mail the author. See http://www.pacificnet/~mandel//

Students could write a short story or short play with a well developed character.

Students could act out a play based on the novel they read to demonstrate their understanding of character.