Character - Building Lesson Plan

created by Gary Raham

Answer the following questions about your main character(s). Some of the things you mention will never be used directly in your story, but the more you know about the character, the more real he/she will seem. If you know your characters well enough, you will think of just the right details to bring them to life.

1. Name: Age: Height:
  Weight: Birthdate:  
  Birthplace: Color hair: Color eyes:
2. Scars or handicaps (physical, mental, or emotional):
3. Educational background:
4. Work experience:
5. Best friend:   Other friends:
6. Enemies (and why they are enemies):
7. Present problem(s):
8. How problem(s) will get worse:
9. Strongest and weakest character traits:
10. Sees self as:
11. Is seen by others as:
12. Sense of humor and kind of humor:
13. Ambitions:
14. Hobbies:
15. Kinds of music, art, or reading material preferred:
16. Style of dress:
17. Favorite colors:
18. Description of home (physical, mental, emotional atmosphere):
19. Most important thing to know about character:
20. Trait that will make your character come alive for the reader (and why):
21. Why is the character worth writing about?
22. Do I like/dislike this character? Why?
23. Will readers like/dislike character for the same reasons?
24. Characters who are remembered are strong in some way. They are saints, sinners, or a combination of both. Why will this character be remembered?

This “character-building resume” lesson plan relates to Gary Raham’s school visit programs that build themselves around The Deep Time Diaries. The article “Creating Deep Time Diaries” by Vicky Jordan and Mark Barnes outlines this program, which Raham helped develop with science teacher Vicky Jordan of Wellington, Colorado. The article appeared in the April/May 2006 issue of Science Scope, the middle school journal for science teachers who belong to NSTA.

For more information about teaching creative writing and science content using The Deep Time Diaries, contact author/illustrator, Gary Raham:

P.O. Box 399
Wellington , CO 80549
Phone: 970-568-3557

Click here to learn more about Gary Raham