Build A Character

This activity teaches students how to create dynamic characters by including details.

Instructions:  Student will use specific criteria written on cards to help them develop a new character.

Descriptors should fit into the following categories:

  • Age
  • Name
  • Unusual physical characteristic
  • Speech patter or accent
  • Emotional nature of character
  • Manner of walking/movement
  • Things character likes to do for fun

Once student have characteristics, a scene could be played. Alternatively a group of student could be directed to walk around the room in the manner of their new character.

Extension:  have each character enter through an imaginary door into an interview room. The teacher can act as the interviewer or select a student to do so. Use the following Script:

Interviewer: Hello. Who are you?

Character:  I am _______ (provide a name)

Interviewer:  How old are you?

Character:  I am ______ (provide age)

Interviewer:  What do you like to do for fun?

Character:  I like ________

Curriculum Corner:

  • Language Arts:  Have student select several characteristic cards and use those to develop a character to write about in a story. Discuss famous character in literature and their characteristics.

Variation:  Create your own categories that tap into characteristics the students are bringing with them to the program. What characteristics are useful and which are un-useful for the success of the group.

Can also create the groups ideal leader and what characteristics they possess and how those are portrayed in their leading and interaction with group members. What are the groups’ expectations of leaders? How do different types of leaders affect the group?


For more resources see:  Reading and Writing Come Alive: Using Improvisation to Build Literacy Copyright © 2010 by Lisa Safran at

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