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FREE Lesson Plan on Character Analysis for Grades 6-12


Students will develop skills in character analysis by examining the traits, motivations, and relationships of characters in a literary work.


Two Days


  • Copies of a short story or novel excerpt with well-defined characters

Download PDF • 368KB

The Cask of Amontillado
Download PDF • 149KB

The Gift of the Magi
Download PDF • 87KB

The Lottery
Download PDF • 63KB

  • Whiteboard and markers (or paper and pencil)

  • Graphic organizers or character analysis worksheets

Character Analysis Graphic Organizers Packet
Download PDF • 3.38MB

  • Internet access for research (optional)

Activity 1: Understanding Character Traits (30 minutes):

  • Use examples from well-known stories to illustrate how characters' choices create conflict, tension, and resolution.

Character Examples for Character Analysis Lesson Plan
Download PDF • 45KB

  • Discuss different types of character traits (e.g., physical, emotional, personality traits).

  • Provide examples and ask students to identify traits in familiar characters from literature or movies.

Character Trait Explanations with Examples
Download PDF • 59KB

  • Ask students to choose a character from the assigned reading and list their traits. Encourage them to use evidence from the text to support their choices.

Activity 2: Identifying Motivations (30 minutes):

  • Explain the concept of character motivations (what drives them to act in a certain way).

Character Motivations with Examples
Download PDF • 58KB

  • Discuss internal and external motivations and how they influence characters.

  • In pairs or individually, have students analyze their chosen character's motivations. Ask them to consider how the character's past experiences, desires, and fears contribute to their actions in the story.

Activity 3: Analyzing Relationships (30 minutes):

  • Introduce the idea that characters interact with others in the story, and these relationships shape the narrative.

  • Discuss different types of relationships (e.g., family, friendship, romantic) and their impact on characters.

Types of Relationships and How They Impact the Character
Download PDF • 61KB

  • Have students analyze the relationships of their chosen character. Discuss how these relationships influence the character's development and choices.

Activity 4: Synthesizing Analysis (30 minutes):

  • Ask students to synthesize (pull together into one piece of work) their findings into a cohesive character analysis.

  • Provide a graphic organizer or worksheet to help students organize their thoughts.

  • See the graphic organizer packet at the top of the lesson plan.

  • Encourage them to include textual evidence to support their analysis.

Conclusion (15 minutes):

Conclude the lesson by discussing the importance of character analysis in understanding literature. Emphasize how analyzing characters enhances overall comprehension of the story. 

Extension (Optional):

For advanced students, consider exploring archetypes, symbolism, or conducting comparative character analyses between different works of literature.

Archetypes and Symbolism in Literature
Download PDF • 57KB

Guide on How to Conduct a Comparative Character Analysis
Download PDF • 61KB


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