• Character and characteristics spinners from Story Spinners
  • Workbooks or paper
  • Writing pencils
  • Flip-chart/whiteboard and pen

Learning Outcomes:

English/Spoken Language

  • Listen and respond appropriately to adults and peers
  • Ask relevant questions to extend understanding and knowledge
  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes
  • Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • Participate in discussions and performances
  • Gain, maintain and monitor the interest if the listener
  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication

Writing – Composition (Lower Key Stage 2)

  • Plan writing by discussing and recording ideas
  • Draft and write by composing and rehearsing sentences orally
  • Draft and write creating character
  • Evaluate and edit by assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements
  • Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors
  • Read aloud their own writing, to the class using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear

Writing – Composition (Upper Key Stage 2)

  • Plan writing by noting and developing initial ideas, drawing on reading and research as necessary
  • Plan their writing by identifying the audience for and the purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own
  • Plan their writing when writing narratives by considering how authors develop characters in what they have read previously, listened to or seen performed
  • Draft and write by selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning
  • Draft and write by developing and describing characters – integrating dialogue to convey character
  • Evaluate and edit by assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing
  • Evaluate and edit proposing changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning
  • Ensure consistency and correct use of tense throughout the piece of writing
  • Proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors


  1. Explain that in this session you are going to focus on creating characters for a story and that to be believable, characters need to be well thought out, and the writer needs to know as much as possible about their character.
  2. Show the class the story spinners. Ask one of the children to spin the ‘who’ spinner. Write the result on the board. Next ask one of the children to spin the characteristics spinner, again write the result up on the board. Repeat twice more with the characteristics.
  3. Once you have these start words, begin to add to the character. Ask the children to think about other characteristics that fit with the ones they have from the spinners. For example, you might want to add their age, whether they are a boy or a girl, what they like to do. Add these ideas to the board so you start to get a full picture of the character. The children should be able to close their eyes and picture the character.
  4. Once they have one character using the spinners. Ask the class to consider a second character that the first might interact with. What would that character be like? How would you show the relationship between them? Discuss the how dialogue could be used to convey the information to the reader without them having to see the writer’s notes or research work.
  5. Ask the children to return to their tables and in pairs create one character with the spinners. This can be done as a mind map, flow chart or however the children are most comfortable recording their ideas.
  6. Children should then work independently to create a second character – make their notes as above. They should then write a short dialogue between their two characters to show the reader who they are and what their relationship is.
  7. After a set time, the children should go back into their pairs and share their dialogue. Can the reader decipher who the second character is and what their role is from the dialogue. Share original notes and then swap so the other member of the pair can do the same.
  8. Finish the session by encouraging each pair to act out their dialogues to the rest of the class. Can the class work out who the characters are?

Extension Ideas:

  • Develop the dialogue further to develop the characters and the relationship. Place it in a specific setting.

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