Help your pupils create original bonkers characters with these handy ideas!
Character creation can be one of the hardest things to do when writing a story, that's why we've come up with these great ideas your class can use to create exciting and intriguing characters!
What makes a great character?
This depends on the role they play in a story, but there are some factors that generally make characters fun and loveable!
- Creativity - may be a character is something unique, mystical, wild and enchanting. After all, we all love a unicorn, right?
- Relatable - even if your pupils are writing about a bonkers monster, do they have a soft side, do they love cuddles or cookies?
- Behaviour - how do they go through a story? Do they get scared? Are they brave? What actions do they take?
So how do you create a great character?
That's the big question, and one we're here to help your pupils solve! Use these ideas to support your class in developing original and exciting characters whilst having fun at the same time:
- Bit by bit - take it one step at a time, break it down, keep it simple. Help your pupils to create their characters one step at a time. Start with overall characteristics, big or small? Soft or hairy? Round or thin? Then focus on each part of their character, what does their head look like? Is it going to be round? Does their character smile or look grumpy? Go to arms, legs, chest, what does each bit look like? By taking it one step at a time it helps keep your pupils focussed, not overwhelmed and it keeps it fun. Who knows what they'll create?
- Inspiration from others - a lot of characters in some of our favourite books are based on people the author may know. It could be a celebrity or maybe other fictional characters! Your pupils could base their characters on their best friend, maybe they can make a bonkers monster about their parents, a sports star, or maybe even their teacher...
- SPaG Monsters - the SPaG Monsters are another friendly bunch of monsters whose mission is to help your pupils love language learning and keep it fun and simple! In the game, your class can create online characters using monster arms, pirate hooks, funky hats and so much more! It's totally free to create a character and can inspire original thoughts, create a fun environment around English learning, and inspire more original writing. You can check out SPaG Monsters here.
- Randomiser - get random! Make a fun game, create some teamwork. Ask your pupils to write colours, body parts and characteristics then put them all into separate hats, pick out a body part, colour and a characteristic and go with the flow. All of your pupils can put in ideas and work together to make characters.
- Self-characterisation - one of the easiest characters to create, is yourself! Your pupils can base an original character off themselves, their own looks, qualities, and write a mini saga about a bonkers monster that features qualities of their own. It's a great way to help your pupils find out more about themselves and start some self-reflection, and have some fun in an adventure!
Now your pupils are experts on creating characters! Why not support them to use their newfound skills to create an amazing Bonkers Monsters mini saga! There are heaps of free teaching materials including differentiated resources, all downloadable and free.
Want to find out more about character creation? We have a guest blog from 'Carnival of the Lost' author Kieran Larwood where he shares his top tips on the topic. 'A Street Dog Named Pup' author Gill Lewis also shared some insight into how to create and write animal characters for a story, and we even have a free downloadable worksheet for pupils on character creation from our very own Complete Writer's Toolkit which you can download here.