Character Types


The lesson introduces students to the different types of characters found in most stories or novels.  As students read, they will encounter different characters and should be able to recognize how each character type affects the outcome of the story.  The lesson does not require a character analysis but simply introduces the different types of characters to the students.  However, this lesson may also be used in conjunction with other character-related lessons.

Character Types Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Character Types
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice identifying Character Types
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 3-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson defines what character is and introduces students to the various types of characters they will find when they read. Some of the character types defined in the lesson are protagonist, antagonist, dynamic, stock, and symbolic as well as several others. The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to characters.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:  

  1. Ask students to name some of the characters from novels or stories they have read. Display a list of the characters and then ask students if they could identify some things that are alike or
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students to think about the role the characters have played in the stories, or to think of supporting characters in TV shows or movies.  What is common among the leading characters, and common about supporting characters?
  3. Allow for further responses and discussion. Introduce Character Types to the class.
  4. Distribute Character Types content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Use current reading content allowing students to identify the types of characters in the stories.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity pages. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Allow sufficient time for students to write the short story and then list the identified characters.  Characters in the story may be more than one type.  Remind students to be creative, characters may be people, animals, objects, etc.
  6. Once completed, students will meet with another pair of students and then will identify each other’s character types from the stories they wrote.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.  Answers may vary, but students must support their responses with logical reasoning.
  9. In closing, ask students: If your life was turned into a book, what type of character would you be in the story? Can you identify people in your life each day who matches one of the character types?
  10. Allow for responses and discussion. Tell students, in their life story they would be a protagonist, but what character type would they be in a friend’s life story.  Encourage students to think about people in their life outside of the classroom.

Common Core State Standards: 


None for Grade 6

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

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Additional information

Grade Level

3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade