Describing Characters in a Story: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Favorite Characters
  • 0:21 Outward Appearances
  • 1:12 Unique Personalities
  • 1:37 Words and Actions
  • 2:06 Character Growth
  • 2:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Characters are what make books special and memorable. In this lesson, learn how to describe characters by talking about physical and personality traits as well as how they interact with other characters.

Favorite Characters

Quick! Think of your all-time favorite book. What makes it the best? More than likely, it has a special character that you enjoyed. How would you describe that character? You could probably think of many ways. Let's look more closely at how we describe book characters.

Outward Appearances

For this lesson, let's pretend that your best friend is asking you to describe your favorite book character. Initially, you might start listing the physical traits of the character. Traits are characteristics or qualities. There can be all kinds of traits, but physical traits are how the character looks on the outside.

When discussing the character's physical appearance, you will use a type of word called an adjective. This is a word that describes a noun, which in this case is your favorite character. If a character is an old giant, you might use adjectives like wrinkly, enormous, or gigantic.

You might also want to describe the clothing they typically wear or things they use on a regular basis. If your character is a magician, maybe they have a wand with them at all times. Or perhaps they have an object that has special meaning to them, like a picture of a loved one or an old watch. All of these things can help someone else better understand the character.

Unique Personalities

Now, let's look beyond the physical and describe how your favorite character is on the inside. You can also use adjectives to describe a character's personality. Is the character kind or compassionate? How do you know? You can find examples in the story to prove that your adjectives are accurate descriptions. Authors will give you clues into the character's personality by sharing what the character is thinking and how the character interacts with others.

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