Curious about Character

What storybook characters remain with you from childhood?  Maybe it’s Frog or his best friend Toad.  It could be Max and the Wild Things or innocent Amelia Bedelia whose misunderstandings led to all sorts of comical outcomes.

Why do these particular characters live on?  What qualities set them apart?

As a writer, it is my job to figure out how to create memorable characters in my own stories.  Why?  Because, lets face it–without unique, memorable characters–there IS no story.

So how do I create my own curious monkey or terrific pig?  I must first learn from the masters.  Just as reading aloud serves as a modeling tool for beginning readers, immersing ourselves in beloved storybook characters serves as a model for what good writing should be.

Teaching Idea:  Provide your students with picture book classics and popular characters.  Give them time to reread the stories to think about what makes the character unique.  Allow them time to work in groups creating a character web.  You may want to include some of the following questions to get them started.

  • Who/What does the character love?
  • What does the character fear?
  • What does he/she want?
  • What are his/her strengths? weaknesses?
  • How does the character solve his/her problem?

Dig Deeper:  After some discussion, ask the students to use 3-5 descriptive words to sum up the character.  Under each word, give evidence from the story to support that trait.

Display these maps of lovable characters around the room to serve as models for future writing.  BTW–Amelia Bedelia?  Isn’t that an easy-to-read series?  YES!  Who knew learning to read could be so much fun?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: