Build Your Character! Discovering Characters in Fiction Literature

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10061

Fictional characters in novels are not real, but they wouldn't be very interesting if they didn't seem real and different! Using online sources and projects, analyze how characters connect to stories!



learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Harry Potter, Voldemort, Katniss Evergreen, President Snow, Percy Jackson, Greg Heffley, Rowley, The Baudelaires, and Lucy.

  • What do all of these people have in common?

They are all characters in fiction books. But they are not all the same — every character is created differently. Take a look at types of characters and how they connect to the story.

Choose a novel to read as you work through these activities.

Several suggestions can be found under Suggested Reading in the right-hand sidebar.

Characters are the players in a story. They are the people, animals, and other creatures that act or are acted upon in the story.

  • The main or central character is known as the protagonist. The protagonist is the character who faces a major conflict that must be solved before the end of the story.
  • The antagonist is the character, idea, or force that opposes the protagonist and serves as an obstacle. Antagonists are sometimes thought of as villains.

Each character can also be dynamic or static, and round or flat.

You're going to watch a video to learn more about these character descriptions. But, first, download and print the Character Analysis Circle Chart, from Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

Using the information above and the video, write a short description of each type of character in the sections of the chart. You can also illustrate your notes to help you remember the meanings!

Complex Characters from Lincoln Learning Solutions:

You can also look at the following sites for definitions and more information:

Now, using the book you choose, write the names of the characters from the book on your chart in the sections that best fit them.

  • Which character is the protagonist and which is the antagonist? (There can be more than one of each).
  • Also, which ones are dynamic and which are static?
  • Which are flat and which are round?

Now that you understand which types of characters are in your book, let's take it a bit further and really describe them by making a bubble map.

Here's how:

  1. Print two copies of the Graphic Organizer - Bubble Map found under Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.
  2. Use these to create one character web for the protagonist in the book you are currently reading, and one character web for the antagonist.
  3. For each character, fill in their name in the large circle.
  4. Add adjectives in the connecting circles to describe the character.
  5. Compare the webs to find what similarities and differences the characters have.

Wow, now you really know a lot about your characters!

Next, continue on to the Got It? section for some online and hands-on practice.

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