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How Do I Create Characterization Lesson Plans?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 23, 2024
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To create characterization lesson plans, you should first consider what aspects of characterization you need or want to teach and how to implement that instruction as part of a larger unit. You should review any state or federal standards you may need to meet as a teacher, and be sure to create a lesson plan that covers such material. Different aspects of characterization should be covered in the lesson plan, such as direct and indirect characterization. You should also create characterization lesson plans that reinforce other ideas within a unit and work with ongoing reading or other materials.

Characterization lesson plans are typically created to help teach students about characterization in literature or similar works. As you are working on these lesson plans, you should keep in mind any standards that have been set at a local, state, or federal level in your area. Your characterization lesson plans should meet the minimum requirements of these standards and ensure that your students are able to effectively describe and use characterization with relation to different types of works. If you also have minimum requirements for lesson plans set by the school or community you are in, you should also consider those.

Once you know the standards or requirements for your characterization lesson plans, then you can begin developing your plan. You should introduce the idea of characterization in an interactive way, to engage your students from the start. A short story or poem that has a strong character in it can be used, or you might ask your students about stories they are all familiar with such as fairy tales or popular movies. This allows you to build characterization lesson plans that are relevant to your students' interests and engages them as quickly as possible.

You should also consider specific aspects of characterization in your lesson plans, such as direct and indirect characterization. Direct characterization is the use of adjectives and similar words to directly describe a character and how he or she behaves, while indirect characterization is the use of actions and verbs to state what a character does as a way of indicating details about him or her. You should cover both of these aspects of characterization, with examples of each, and ensure your students understand how they function and why they are used.

If you are developing characterization lesson plans within a larger unit on reading or literature, you should try to make the lesson work within the greater context of the unit. You might introduce this lesson prior to the introduction of a major character in a book the class is reading over several weeks. The students can then be asked to provide examples of indirect and direct characterization from the night’s reading in class the next day. You should also allow your students to practice with characterization; you might have them write out brief descriptions of characters or short paragraphs that utilize these methods to bring a character to life.

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