Lesson Two: Characters

Lesson 2: Meeting Your Main Character(s)

Materials needed: cardstock, craft supplies, pen and paper, Hero’s Journey Worksheet, Getting to Know Your Characters worksheets.

What is the focus of the lesson?

The focus of the lesson is character creation. Students will end the lesson with two brief character sketches having discussed what kind of characters you find in stories: protagonist/antagonist, main characters and secondary characters, etc.

2.  Exploration

 

What will students do?

Students will be led through the Hero’s Journey worksheet, talking about the six (abridged version) stages of the journey, and how their character might change as they undertake that journey. They will then as a group decide which parts of the Hero’s journey pre-determined pieces of familiar stories (like Star Wars, or Moana) fit where, using an interactive model.

3.  Explanation

What is the main idea (concept) ?

Stories need characters to function. Your characters don’t have to be human, they don’t have to be nice, they don’t even have to be likeable. But they need to be characters that have some depth, and some problems that require solving. They need to have a journey and change over the course of the story. This is the point of telling a story.

4.  Expansion

How will the idea be expanded?

Students may be given a couple of examples of good characters that have a lot of development and some less rounded characters that are kind of boring, in order to illustrate the difference. Ask them who their favorite characters are, and why. They’ll also discuss the roles of protagonist vs. antagonist. Then they’ll be given their character sketch worksheets to begin creating their own characters.

 

5.  Evaluation

How will the students show what they have learned?

Students will end the period with two (or more, if they choose) character sketches that have a brief outline of some relevant character traits and facts about their character. If there is time they will begin writing their stories, possibly with a prompt to get them started.

 

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