Characterization is a literary element that describes the process by which an author reveals the personality of characters and this may be done directly or indirectly.
When authors tell us about characters they rely on five techniques. They rely on describing:
the character thoughts,
what they say,
how others in the story react, or think about them.
Authors will indirectly describe characters in stories. It is your job as a good reader to pay attention to how an author describes a character and make an inference, or a guess, about the character’s personality.
Much like when you meet a classmate for the first time, he/she will not likely come right out and introduce themselves by saying, “Hello, my name is Cindy and I am nice, caring, and such a great friend. It’s nice to meet you.” Instead, after you meet her you start getting to know her by how she acts, and what she says. Finally, you take all that into account and infer, or guess, the type of person she is.
Let’s look at the Characterization anchor chart.
Today we will look at characterization as it applies to you. You will begin by filling out a Characterization worksheet.
In the center of the work sheet you will write 2-3 words that you believe describe you as a person.
For example, I might say that I am a hard worker and shy. I will write those words in the “Character Traits” circle. I will then continue by filling out how through my actions, thoughts, looks, what I say, and how other’s react to me and think of me prove that I am a hardworking and shy person.
In the “Actions” box I can write, “I never give up even when something is hard for me,” and “It takes me a while to feel comfortable around people when I first meet them.” The examples I just wrote show through my actions that I am hardworking and shy.
Now it’s your turn. Write 2-3 words that describe you. Then continue filling out the five squares with examples. Keep in mind that you will be sharing once your worksheet is complete. Would describe a character in a book, you will meet with your partner and read to them what you wrote in the five squares. Be sure not to tell them the character traits you wrote in the circle. Your partner’s job will be to listen to all the clues and then try to infer, or guess the words you used to describe yourself in the center circle.
Partner B will share first and Partner A will infer. Once youa re done, you may switch as Partner A reads and Partner B infers.
As you read The Report Card let’s remember to keep in mind that Andrew Clements is giving you clues that tell you the type of character Nora is. What is it called when an author gives you such clues?