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Develop Characters Through Dialogue and Action

In this worksheet, students develop characters through dialogue and action. The worksheet should be attempted after the student has completed the reading comprehension worksheet on developing characters.

'Develop Characters Through Dialogue and Action' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Writing: Composition

Curriculum subtopic:  Create Fiction

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Good authors use different techniques to develop their characters. One way is to show a person's character through their words and actions (what they say and how they behave).

 

Look at this passage from a story set in a school.

 

Mr Jacobs glared at Tom. His lips were pressed together and his fingers drummed on the desk.

'Come here, now!' he barked.

Tom stood up and walked slowly towards the front of the classroom, dragging his feet. He could feel his heart thumping in his chest and sweat starting to prickle on his palms.

He stood in front of Mr Jacobs, fixing his eyes on the teacher's shiny black shoes.

'Look at me, boy!, sneered Mr Jacobs.

Tom slowly glanced upwards until their eyes met. He gulped.

 

The author does not state directly that Tom is frightened and Mr Jacobs is angry, but we know from the way they both behave. The way Mr Jacobs speaks to Tom suggests that he is an unpleasant character as well as an angry one.

 

In this worksheet, you can practise writing in a way that shows readers what your characters are like without telling them directly.

You are going to write a dialogue (conversation) between two very different characters, so first of all you need to choose your characters.

 

You could choose two friends, a brother and a sister, or perhaps a mother and her child. When you have chosen your characters, give them names, as this helps to picture them in your head.

 

Now you need to choose a situation. It is often easier to describe people when they are frightened or angry, rather than happy. Perhaps your characters are arguing about something or are lost in the woods.

 

The next thing is to decide how your characters will react to the situation. Perhaps one of them is frightened but the other one is more courageous. Try to make them different in some way.

 

Remember that you are going to show what sort of characters they are by what they say and how they act, so try to think of some powerful words to use, particularly verbs ('action' words). A dictionary or thesaurus is helpful if you have one.

 

Now write your dialogue. It doesn't need to be very long - you're not writing a whole story, just showing your reader what your characters are like. Remember to write in full sentences with capital letters and full stops. Use speech marks to show what your characters are saying and remember to start a new line each time a new person speaks.

  • Question 1

You are going to write a dialogue (conversation) between two very different characters, so first of all you need to choose your characters.

 

You could choose two friends, a brother and a sister, or perhaps a mother and her child. When you have chosen your characters, give them names, as this helps to picture them in your head.

 

Now you need to choose a situation. It is often easier to describe people when they are frightened or angry, rather than happy. Perhaps your characters are arguing about something or are lost in the woods.

 

The next thing is to decide how your characters will react to the situation. Perhaps one of them is frightened but the other one is more courageous. Try to make them different in some way.

 

Remember that you are going to show what sort of characters they are by what they say and how they act, so try to think of some powerful words to use, particularly verbs ('action' words). A dictionary or thesaurus is helpful if you have one.

 

Now write your dialogue. It doesn't need to be very long - you're not writing a whole story, just showing your reader what your characters are like. Remember to write in full sentences with capital letters and full stops. Use speech marks to show what your characters are saying and remember to start a new line each time a new person speaks.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Award a maximum of 10 marks for the dialogue.
1) Award one mark if the two characters are clearly different from each other.
2 and 3) Award two marks if the words spoken by the characters show what the characters are like. Award one mark if an attempt has been made to do this.
4 and 5) Award two marks if the characters' actions show what they are like. Award one mark if an attempt has been made to do this.
6 and 7) Award up to two marks for powerful vocabulary, particularly verbs (such as 'shivered', 'hesitated', 'snapped').
8) Award one mark if sentences are generally punctuated correctly with capital letters and full stops.
9) Award one mark if an attempt has been made to punctuate the dialogue correctly with speech marks and new lines.
10) Award one mark if the passage is successful overall in conveying the characters.
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