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Character Analysis Anchor Charts – six anchor charts for analyzing characters in fiction

Let’s talk character analysis and anchor charts.

Anchor charts aren’t posters; you don’t just print them out and stick them on
the wall (and hope that somebody looks at them). They’re meant to be a record of an anchor lesson or activity that kids will remember.

Interactive lessons are especially memorable, so I try to start my unit on
character analysis with something hands-on that kids can manipulate and engage with in a fun way! We know kids learn better through play than any other method.

Here are six of my favorite Character Analysis Anchor Charts to help you teach analyzing characters in fiction in a hands-on, meaningful way!

Hands-on Character Activity

My favorite way to introduce analyzing
characters is the strategy on this anchor chart. We use little cards with text evidence on them that include things the character does, says, and thinks, and things other characters say about them. You can grab them here!

We sort the evidence into the different categories and use it to make an inference about that character. So may great discussions come out of this activity and I’ve used it with third, fourth, and fifth graders!

Describing Characters

After you do the strategy with a hands-on activity, it’s so important to apply it to connected text. This chart comes from a fun lesson on Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner with second graders.

We gathered different types of evidence from the text and then used a simple sentence frame to describe Skippyjon Jones based on the evidence.

Character Change Over Time

Another way to analyze characters is to notice their change over time and connect it to fiction structure. In this example from a fourth grade class, we read a short story and paused to gather evidence about the character.

At every step along the way, we stopped to think about where this fell on our fiction story map (Freytag’s pyramid) and noticed how the structure connected to the character.

Charting Character Traits

This is a great way to build your character unit over time. Every time you read a fiction book, you can add the character name to this character traits chart! That way you can extend your character observations beyond this unit.

Analyzing a Character

Analyzing a character involves their words, actions, and even what others say about them. It’s all information the author is giving us. Sometimes what others say has to be evaluated to determine if it’s consistent with what we know about the character.
This anchor chart came from a reading about Ruby Bridges, who is an actual person, but it can also be used with fictional characters!

Making Inferences about Characters

Making inferences about characters is so abstract. Starting out with a specific paragraph helped my students find the evidence they needed in a controlled, smaller space. Then we moved to longer pieces of text!
You can get the hands-on anchor chart as well as short task cards for character analysis, perfect for building an anchor chart and giving kids practice in this Reading Strategy MiniPack: Character Analysis!
It’s everything you need to teach your students about character analysis, one step at a time, following the gradual release model. There are tools for I Do, We Do, and You Do! Check it out on TpT and save yourself so much planning time!

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