Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

What a character

TEACHER Anne Girven, Gillian Bertram





5-8 3 3-6 weeks


Achievement Objective Being Assessed

Learning Outcomes

Poetic Writing  Write a character sketch, shaping, editing and reworking the text, and using vocabulary and conventions such as spelling and sentence structure.


 Exploring Language Explore characters created by authors and identify personality traits. Apply these ideas to their own characters using language skills identified to convey these traits.
 Thinking Critically  Draw on personal experiences and knowledge to describe a character.

Supporting Achievement Objective

Learning Outcomes

 Close Reading  Discuss language, meanings, and ideas in a range of texts, relating their understanding to personal experiences and other texts.
 Interpersonal Listening Listen to and interact with others to clarify understanding of narrative, information, ideas and opinions, and to contribute to discussion in one-to-one, small group and class discussion.
 Interpersonal Speaking Talk clearly in small and large groups about experiences, events, and ideas, organising material effectively and attending to others' responses.



The character sketch is a component of a story. These sketches may be developed in a variety of ways but should be linked to the reading programme. It is within the close reading programme that students gain understanding of the models for writing character sketches. Use shared or guided reading for identification and use of the features of a character sketch. This unit explores ways in which students will be able to create characters. It is important that teachers develop a programme to suit the needs and abilities of their students. Teachers will need to modify some of the teaching and learning activities. Teacher modelling, student participation and involvement in the process, is essential.


 Select and adapt these learning activities to best meet the needs of your students, and to fit the time available:

Learning task 1

Learning task 2


Part One Assessment Task

  • Students discuss their characters with a partner and orally "set the scene".
  • Students plan and write the events that take place when their characters meet/interact.
  • Students in small groups read and share their writing. Encourage constructive feedback.

Part Two Assessment Task

 Use the framework outlined above to motivate students to write a character sketch of one of the characters from another shared story.

National Exemplar Project: Introduction to Character Writing

assessment(3) (RTF 93KB)



Assessment Resource Bank
Students use evidence in a text to make inferences about a character's feelings.

Assessment Resource Bank

Published on: 01 Apr 2009