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Character Description – 12 of the best worksheets and resources for KS1 and KS2 English

Create characters with depth, desires and three dimensions with these excellent activities, ideas, lesson plans and more...

  • Character Description – 12 of the best worksheets and resources for KS1 and KS2 English

There are many parts of the National Curriculum that might require a quick Google refresher each time it comes to teaching it (which ones are causal conjunctions again?), but thankfully, describing people is something that comes to us fairly naturally in childhood.

Does he look like one of my teachers in the 90s?

But, there is of course more to great character descriptions than simply being able to describe what a person looks like.

That’s where these resources will come in handy.

1 | Creating characters with Sam Copeland podcast and resources

Help KS2 children to create vibrant, believable, complex characters with expert advice from Sam Copeland, author of the ‘Charlie McGuffin’ series of books, in which the eponymous hero changes into random animals when he gets stressed.

This resources pack is designed to be used with episode two of the Author In Your Classroom podcast, a virtual ‘author visit’ you can share with children whenever you like, absolutely free!

The pack then includes accompanying resources and includes a PowerPoint, teacher notes, book extracts in print and as audiobook clips, illustrations and author quotes for a working wall display, story planning sheets and story writing sheets.

Find the resources here.

2 | Creating characters KS2 challenge mat

This set of worksheets allows KS2 children to think about how to create strong, convincing characters. Each task – understand, explain, challenge, test, apply – explores how ‘showing’, not telling, what a character is like can add impact to their writing.

Perfect for home learning, as an exercise before an independent writing task, and as a way to challenge more able learners in lower year groups, the worksheets are bright and engaging, using eye-catching images to fire children’s imaginations, and giving them the opportunity to apply their knowledge in creative writing activities.

You can find them here.

3 | Describing Goldilocks KS1 lesson plan

Is the story of Goldilocks as clear cut as you might think? Did she go in, uninvited, to the three bears’ house and cause criminal damage? Or maybe she was lost and needed the shelter or had another pressing reason to go in?

In this lesson, children will explore the character of Goldilocks and come to their own conclusions about what she was really like, using the book Me and You by Anthony Browne, which describes itself as ‘a thought-provoking take on the Goldilocks story.’

They’ll learn how to read between the lines by inference and deduction on words and pictures, and they’ll build a profile of a well-known character through interpreting and discussing evidence.

Download it here.

4 | Describing spooky characters LKS2 writing resources pack

Inspire pupils year 3 and 4 to write engaging character descriptions using our spooky character description resource pack.

Read the model text ‘The Wizard’ and explore how the author has described a character, including information about what they look like, where they live and their character traits.

As well as the text, this resource pack includes a creating characters ideas sheet, vocabulary cards, spooky character cards, object cards, a planning sheet, themed writing paper and teacher’s notes.

Find all this here.

5 | Create a character from the feet up

We’ve all heard the expression that you don’t know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, well here’s an exercise from First Story that’s designed to get to the soul of a character, by starting at the sole.

First, ask each student to take off a shoe and draw around their foot. Then, starting at the toe, ask them to create a fictional character in their mind and to imagine that character’s feet. What are the feet like? Big, small, calloused? Long toenails? What sort of shoes do they wear?

Next move up to imagine the character’s ankles. Are they strong? Weak? What about their knees? Do they have scars on their knees? Why?

Carry on up the body with this activity here.

6 | Four activities For developing characters

From annoying words and mannerisms to finding out what’s in someone’s bag, these innovative drama and story writing ideas from Leanne Welsh are great for delving deep into characters’ backstories…

Check them out here.

7 | Descriptosaurus character description games

This Descriptosaurus resource from National Literacy Trust was produced for a writing challenge and has all sorts of descriptive writing activities.

The one which we’re interested in here are the two character description games, which are supported by character cards (which you’ll find in the appendix of the resource).

These cards are arranged in levels from one to six, with the characters traits and vocabulary becoming progressively harder with each level.

Download everything you need here.

8 | Judy Moody character creation challenge

Another National Literacy Trust resource, this one is based on the Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald.

In the first book of the series, we get to know Judy through a homework task set in her new class – a ‘Me’ collage. As part of the collage, Judy has to think about some of the best, worst and funniest things that have ever happened to her.

These resources challenge your pupils to develop this idea and pen a 500-word short story about a character they have invented, recounting either the best thing, the worst thing or the funniest thing that has ever happened to their character.

Get this pack here.

9 | Top Trumps character creations

Creating characters using the popular Top Trumps format is a useful way to encourage pupils to think beyond the appearance of their characters and whether they’re adventurous, brave, cowardly or cruel, for example, and to consider their feelings, thoughts and motivations.

Using and punctuating direct speech is a significant objective for pupils in lower KS2. So, by including space to plan what characters say, the Top Trumps character profile encourages pupils to include direct speech in their narratives and so create characters with physical presence beyond their appearance.

Once you’ve completed a planning profile with pupils, you can then model using it to write effective character descriptions, showing how to include aspects of character through descriptions of actions, thoughts and dialogue.

Find this resource from Rachel Clarke, here.

10 | Character description posters for A Christmas Carol

Always a popular choice for a class read, especially this time of year, these posters contain descriptive words and terms for various characters in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Download them all here.

11 | Create characters with The BFG

Does someone’s appearance always match their personality? Use these Roald Dahl activity cards and lesson plan for KS1 or KS2 to discuss this with your class, and learn how to create interesting characters in your own story writing.

Grab it here.

12 | Wild West story writing pack

This massive download pack contains materials designed to assist KS2 students with writing stories set within the period of the Wild West.

It includes short example texts, image prompts, ideas relating to town settings, outdoor settings, characters and objects/animals, a poster book and a PowerPoint presentation containing 21 slides of assorted Wild West-themed photography.

Ride off into the sunset with this resource here.

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