By middle school, students should begin to develop skills in analyzing author craft. One of the easiest ways to introduce kids to the "craft moves" an author makes is through teaching characterization. The reality is that kids already understand this literary term on some level because they unconsciously pick up on all of the clues that an author or a text (be it book, movie, music video, or tv show) provides the audience. We inherently form judgements about characters as we engage with a text.
This worksheet is a simple graphic organizer that is meant to (a) introduce the basics of characterization, and (b) give kids an opportunity to practice hunting for characterization with a video clip of your choice. In the past, I've used this with short clips from well-known Disney and Pixar films. If you select a scene that is meaty enough, students will be able to find all 5 types of characterization clues in a two minute video clip!
On page one, students should take notes (filling in the blanks) during a short mini-lesson, lecture, or presentation on characterization. On page two, students apply their new knowledge of characterization by tracking clues about character personality in a video clip of your choice. The "answer key" will help to illustrate what a completed worksheet should look like.
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