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.

1. Some questions we will answer as you work to understand character development in literature include:

  • What is a protagonist? What is an antagonist?
  • What is the relationship between a protagonist and an antagonist?
  • What are dynamic and static characters?
  • What are the similarities and differences between a dynamic character and a static character?
  • What is the difference between a round character and a flat character?

2. 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.

Download and print the Character Analysis Circle Chart, from Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar, to analyze each of the characters in your book.

Visit the following links to view videos and read about types of characters. Take notes on the circle chart for each of the types of characters:

  • protagonist
  • antagonist
  • dynamic
  • static
  • round
  • flat

You can also illustrate your notes to help you remember the meanings.

Watch Static Character vs. Dynamic Character Notes by Melissa Kane:


Next, watch Flat Characters vs. Round Characters from katiemathieson2:


It’s easier to understand a story if you know the characters.

  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.

When you have finished, continue on to the Got It? section for some online and hands-on practice.

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