Lesson Plan

Writing: Create a Character

Your students will hone their creative writing skills as they design their own fictional characters. Use this lesson to introduce the concept of using key details and descriptive language during the prewriting phase of storytelling.
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This reading and writing lesson plan is designed to teach first grade learners all about one of the essential building blocks of good writing: how to create a character. After brainstorming the main characters from favorite books, children will further explore the concept of a main character and the character traits that define them through the book Duck for President by Doreen Cronin. Then they will be ready to plan and create their own fictional main character using a helpful graphic organizer. With their main character mapped out, young writers will be one step closer to penning their first novel!

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to use writing to describe a fictional character using key details.


(10 minutes)
Write Your Main CharacterWrite Your Supporting Character
  • Invite your students to join you on rug or in usual read-aloud location in your classroom.
  • Hold up a copy of Duck for President by Doreen Cronin (or a similar picture book) and ask the class who the story is about. Answers might include: "Duck," "Farmer Brown," "the pigs," "the cows," and "the other animals."
  • Point to the cover of the book and ask about what makes Duck a good character. Answers might include: "Duck is funny," "He tries to make changes," or "He organizes the other animals on the farm."
  • Explain that today your class will be planning a story, starting with the main characters. and you are going to focus on planning your story by starting with your main character.
  • Define a main character is the person or animal that our story is about. For example, in the book Duck for President Duck is the main character.
  • Instruct your students to share the titles of their favorite picture books. As each student shares, write the main character from their favorite story up your chart paper or whiteboard.
  • Encourage everyone to think about what makes these characters interesting. What features does each character have? What are their likes and dislikes? What is their family like? What sort of adventures do they have?
  • Write these answers next to the name of each character on your chart paper or whiteboard.
  • Tell the class that today they will create their own main character and get to think about what will make their main character interesting or special.