Well-developed characters are like people: they have traits, opinions, and motivations. Characterizations are the methods by which story tellers reveal the traits of characters. These free characterization worksheets, resources, and activities should help students better understand characterizations.
Characterization Worksheet 1 – Students read ten short examples of character interactions. They identify an indirect character trait in each and explain their answers by referencing the text. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 3rd-7th.
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Characterization Worksheet 2 – This worksheet has ten more characterization problems. Students read the passages, identify the implied character trait, and explain their answers using text. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5th-9th.
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Characterization Worksheet 3 – Here’s another characterization worksheet to really bring this concept home. This one has got another ten more problems where students must identify characters’ traits based on their actions. This will make for great homework or class work. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 4th-8th.
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Characterization Worksheet 4 – This worksheet has even more characterization problems: ten new short paragraphs with questions. Students are asked to refer to the text to explain their answers. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 3rd-7th.
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Character Traits Project – Students define character trait words and then think of actions that would implicitly show each character trait. This project is a great way to expand students’ character trait vocabulary. This list of character traits accompanies this project.
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Illustrating Implicit Characterizations – Students identify an implicit characterization from a story you are reading and illustrate the characterizing behavior.
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Illustrate Character Traits Group Project – Students take one of four roles and look up challenging character trait words. They then illustrate examples of the term.
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Indirect Characterizations Activity – Students define challenging character trait words, then write actions that would demonstrate each character trait.
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Characterization Lesson – Slide show presentation explaining direct and indirect characterizations. Includes a five question review assignment after the lesson.
Characterization Lesson PowerPoint
Common Core State Standards Related to Characterizations
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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 – Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.3 – With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.3 – Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.3 – Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.7 – Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3 – Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3 – Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3 – Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3 – Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3 – Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3 – Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3 – Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3 – Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).