Character Development and Analysis
Once students have carefully studied a character, and understand their character traits, they should be able to predict what the character would do, say, think, or feel in a variety of situations. Students need to understand the motives of the character and how it influences the plot line. Students should then understand that a character travels in pursuit of goals, and the experiences that characters face often change the character throughout the story. Point of view is also critical in understanding a story. Understanding point of view will allow students to get into the author’s mind and better understand the characters and the story. Character development and analysis of characters can be seen in a variety of benchmarks, not limited to plot development questions.
Exploring Characters How do authors make characters seem like real people?
Authors show what a character looks like, what he says and
does, and what he thinks and feels, and what other characters think, feel, and say about him.
Authors show a character’s dreams, goals, memories,
Authors give a character realistic problems to solve. The
character makes decisions, takes actions, overcomes problems, or fails to achieve his goals.
List of authors who create awesome characters:
Beverly Cleary Sharon Creech Roald Dahl Paula Danziger Jean Craighead George Brain Jacques C.S. Lewis A.A. Milne Katherine Paterson Gary Paulsen J.K. Rowling E.B. White
Author’s Toolbox for Bringing a Character to Life
You get to know a character by what he does
thoughts and by what others think about him
You get to know a character by his feelings and by what others feel about
You get to know a character by what the writer tells you about the way he looks
Character Vocabulary tolerance discipline citizenship trustworthy cooperative fairness integrity 10. education 11. reliance 12. courage 13. respect 14. punctuality 15. kindness 16. patience 17. character 18. responsibility 19. honesty ABC Listing of Character Vocabulary
is for ability, asset, aptitude, attitude, accepting, appreciating, altruism
is for caring, compassion, cooperation, citizenship, considerate, control, cheerfulness, civility, courage
is for dedicated, donor, dignity, dependability, discrete, diplomatic
is for fairness, friends, faithfulness, and forgiving
is for helpfulness, honesty, honorable, hard work
is for industrious, inventive, integrity, inspire
is for listening, loyalty, love, lawfulness, legitimate
is for orderly, observant, ownership, obedience
is for politeness, patience, perseverance, pride, philanthropy, punctuality
is for respect, responsibility, resolute, regard, reasonable, rational, reliance
is for sharing, special, sympathetic, supportive, self-esteem, self-control, self-reliance
is for trustworthiness, teamwork, tolerance, temperate, truth, thrift
is for understanding, united, unique, unity
is for values, valiant, valor, veracious, veracity
is for welcoming, worthy, watchful, worker
Character Development FCAT Questions
Below are examples of FCAT questions that address character analysis or character development in a story.
How does the first _______ change in the story? (similarities/differences between characters)
How are the two ______ DIFFERENT in the way that they collect firewood and act toward trees? (similarities/differences between characters)
How did _______’s actions make her a very important person? (cause/effect)
Which phrase best describes the narrator’s father?
Why does _______ avoid telling _______ the story behind her nickname?
After their journey, how is ________, DIFFERENT from ________? (similarities/differences between characters)
Why did _________ try to fly around the world? (cause/effect)
t th r a te c ra a h C
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