Character Traits: Describing What a Character is Like
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Basics on the topic Character Traits: Describing What a Character is Like
Let's learn about character traits with Hewie, Ari, and Zayd!
Transcript Character Traits: Describing What a Character is Like
Character Traits: Describing What a Character is Like In a story, we use the character’s thoughts, dialogue, and actions to develop what a character is like, or their personality. These are called character traits! Oftentimes authors add dialogue and thoughts to tell the reader more about how a character is feeling. They also add details about body language, or the action of the character, to give the reader clues about a character's emotions. Authors consider how they want to portray the characters' feelings when they write a story. Let's read a few passages about Ari, Zayd, and Hewie's sandcastle-building contest and see what we can learn about how they are feeling! Ari felt the sun radiating as they wiped a bead of sweat off of their forehead. They dug in the sand. Nothing. They dug again. Nothing. "Where did you find all those pretty shells Zayd, I can't find any!" Ari threw up their hands and plopped in the sand. How is Ari feeling? (...) Ari is feeling frustrated that they can't find any seashells for their sandcastle. What thoughts, dialogue, and actions show how Ari is feeling? (...) In this passage, the author didn't include any thoughts but... when Ari says, 'I can't find any!' that shows that they are angry. And when Ari 'threw up their hands and plopped in the sand', that action also shows that Ari is frustrated. The character traits we can identify in Ari are that they get easily frustrated when things don't go their way, and give up pretty quickly! Let's read another. You both better have brought your A game today, I'm almost done with my best sand castle yet!" Zayd exclaimed. Suddenly, a big wave crashed on the shore and Zayd jumped up. ICK! keep that water away from me, he thought. How is Zayd feeling? (...) We know Zayd feels weary about the water because he thinks 'Ick! Keep that water away from me'. We know Zayd feels excited because he EXCLAIMED, 'I'm almost done with my best sand castle yet!'... and Zayd JUMPS UP when the big wave crashes which shows us that he doesn't want to touch the water. The character traits we can identify in Zayd are that he enjoys building sandcastles, but doesn't like getting wet! The last passage says, 'Hewie was decorating the pillars and adding the final touches to his castle. He smiled at the small sculpture he added to the courtyard. He peered at the bridge he made and put his fingers together to make a chef's kiss.' How is Hewie feeling? (...) There are no thoughts or dialogue that show us this, but the author uses Hewie's body language, or actions, to show how he's feeling. We know Hewie feels happy with how his sandcastle came out because he smiles at the sculpture and makes a chef's kiss . The character trait we can identify in Hewie is that he takes pride in his work. Before we see how the contest ends, let's summarize. Remember, (...) in a story, authors use the character’s thoughts, dialogue, and actions to develop what a character is like, or their personality. Often times authors add dialogue and thoughts to tell the reader more about how a character is feeling. They also add details about body language to give the reader clues about a character's emotions. Oh no! Here comes a big wave! [A big wave washes up on the beach and destroys Zayd and Ari's castles, Ari is disoriented and Zayd is buried in the sand, Hewie is too busy taking selfies with his castle to notice what happened behind him, we hear/see the camera flash]