Characters in Focus: Engaging Analysis

Character analysis templates help students take notes on how the characters feel and act. As you begin to read fictional text, you learn about characters in the story. Each character’s personality comes to life through his or her actions and behavior.

Character Traits


When analyzing characters, traits will be good to identify. Character traits describe what the character is like. Evidence from the story such as quotes, or actions that the character does support the character trait. Often times, a story will give a detailed description of the character. This tells readers what the character looks like. Students can add details to their notes or draw a character sketch based on what they visualize from the reading.

Character Emotions

Characters react to different events in the story. Character’s emotions can be caused by events. For example, a character may be sad if their parent gets a job in a new city. That event probably impacts the whole family moving. On another note, a character tries out for the basketball team. When that character finds out he makes it on the team, he is overjoyed. Often times we have empathy for the characters. That is, we can relate and put ourself in their shoes.

Character Analysis helps reveal Theme


Theme is an important element that can be identified through the character. Often times, the character learns something by the end of the story. For example, a story where the student moves to a new city might have the theme, “You need to be a friend, in order to make a friend.” If a character puts a lot of effort into a goal such as making a basketball team then the theme could be, “Hard work pays off.”

Character analysis is important to keep in mind when reading fiction. The character is like the main ingredient in the story. Events affect how the character behaves. The character reveals the theme of the story. Analyzing the character throughout the story improves students’ comprehension of fiction.

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