Sign up with your email to receive this fabulous Subjects and Predicates PowerPoint lesson!

3 Reasons Why Teaching Character Analysis in Upper Elementary is Important

Teaching character analysis in upper elementary is one powerful way to help our students improve their reading comprehension. When students understand the motivations, conflicts, and traits of the characters in a story, they can gain a deeper understanding of the plot, themes, and overall meaning of the text.

Teaching Character Analysis

Character analysis goes beyond character traits in reading and encourages students to dig into what the characters are thinking, doing, and saying while looking carefully at their roles in the story.

Character analysis involves looking closely at many aspects of a character. Character analysis moves beyond simply identifying character traits. Readers should look closely at a character’s thoughts, words, and actions and consider the character’s relationships with others. It is also important to look at the problems the character encounters and how the character faces these problems.

While we may not assign a character analysis paper to our upper elementary students, it is important to introduce the concepts of character analysis to our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. This will help prepare our students for advanced literary analysis in upcoming grade levels.

But why is teaching character analysis so important for reading comprehension?

Teaching character analysis helps students have a deeper understanding of a story or text.

3 Ways Teaching Character Analysis Helps Students’ Reading

Teaching character analysis helps students become active readers.

First, understanding characters and their relationships with each other helps students to make connections and predictions about the plot. They can use the information they know about a character to infer what that character might do or say next, and how their actions will affect the story. This helps students to engage with the text and become active readers, rather than passive ones.

Teaching character analysis helps students understand the deeper meaning of the text.

Second, character analysis helps students unlock a story’s deeper meaning. By understanding a character’s motivations, a character’s response to a problem, or character relationships, students can begin to see the underlying messages and themes in the text. This helps students to relate to the text and make it more meaningful to them.

Teaching character analysis can help students improve their comprehension of the text.

Third, teaching character analysis can help upper elementary students better understand how characters are developed in a story. It can also provide an understanding of how the overall plot of the narrative works. This can benefit students by helping them become more proficient in their reading skills and improve their comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Using Picture Books to Teach Character Analysis

I personally love using picture books when introducing and teaching character analysis to students. Because of the vivid illustrations and engaging storylines, picture books can help young learners identify a character’s traits, motivations, and values. Picture books also often demonstrate dynamic relationships between characters that allow the reader to explore how different characters interact with each other.

One of my favorite books for introducing character analysis is The Royal Bee by Frances Park and Ginger Park. I am always drawn to stories that are based on true events, and this amazing story is based on the sister-authors’ grandfather.

The main character, Song-Ho, is born into poverty in Korea and is not allowed to attend school. After standing at the school’s door to listen to the school master’s lessons, Song-Ho is discovered and soon earns a place in the school and accomplishes something that changes his life forever.

This beautiful book can begin a wonderful discussion of the main character’s courage and strength of character. Not only is this a wonderful book to discuss the character traits of Song-Ho, but it also provides opportunities to look closely at the character’s problems and how the character overcomes them.

So, how can we as teachers effectively teach our upper elementary students character analysis?

Teaching Character Analysis with Graphic Organizers

Getting students to think deeply about literature can be so hard. So often students may want to simply find an answer as quickly as possible, or our students may not know how to think beyond basic or simple responses. Character analysis is one way to help our students learn how to think deeply about their reading. Using these engaging Character Analysis Graphic Organizers is a perfect way to help students dive into character analysis.

These graphic organizers help students explore a character’s:

  • thoughts, feelings, and actions
  • actions towards others
  • role in the story
  • response to a problem
  • personality traits
  • physical traits
  • likable and dislikable traits
  • growth through the story

These graphic organizers are great to use in so many ways!

  • with picture books
  • with read-alouds
  • with classroom novels
  • with independent reading
  • and more!

The design of the pages is sure to be engaging for your students and will help them visually construct ideas and organize their thoughts and information.

Don’t take my word for it. Look what other teachers have said!

🌟”LOVE! Exactly what I needed and it helped facilitate learning. I used it with a chapter book, and it helped students differentiate character traits between the main characters.”

🌟”My students loved these graphic organizers for character analysis! These graphic organizers can be used throughout so many different lessons and along with other resources! Great activity to have !”

🌟”I have already used a few of these graphic organizers and it has really helped my students analyze characters. Thank you for putting this resource together!”

Get the Bundle

Or get the Character Graphic Organizers Bundle that contains the printables above along with the digital version below. With the bundle, you will have the option to easily assign character analysis graphic organizers in Google Classroom. This can give you even more options for your lessons! Click the image to find out more.

Character Analysis Bundle

Have a blessed day!

For more ideas about teaching reading, check out this blog post HERE.

Follow my TpT store for notifications of new resources 50% off.

Share it:

You might also like...

teaching fourth free grammar


Hello Teacher Friends! I’m Kelly, & I’m so glad that you are here. It is truly my joy to support elementary teachers like you.

My goal is simple. I want to help teachers like you find the resources and ideas that you need for reading, grammar, and writing. I also add in a dash of fresh ideas for classroom management and decor, all so you can focus on what’s important-teaching!

Make grammar fun!

Get your free grammar packet filled with puzzles, riddles, and activities.

Join the Teaching Fourth email club today.

Free PowerPoint Lesson

Get your FREE Subjects and Predicates PowerPoint lesson!   Simply join my email list below.