Tip: Describe A Character Word Bank
How do I do it?
Introduce the idea that readers enjoy stories when they can visualize the characters in a story and when they care about them. In order to make the characters we write about people we can see in our minds and start to care about, we have to get to know them. Read a couple of short examples from familiar stories where the author describes the character in detail. Chart the words and phrases that make the character come alive. Next, introduce the Describe A Character Word Bank chart (above) that offers words that describe the physical traits, emotional traits, and mental qualities of characters. Explain the categories and volunteers share their ideas for categories. Sketch drawings next to words to help define them.
Variations & Extensions
Offer picture dictionaries to lower proficiency students opened to a page with words that could describe characters. Seat English learners next to bilingual students so that they can help to explain unfamiliar vocabulary in the student’s native language. Ask a volunteer or volunteers to act out unfamiliar or abstract concepts to increase English learner comprehension.
Common Core Writing Standard 3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.