Characterization includes the traits of how the characters develop within the story. Reinforcing the Concepts of Characterization, Conflict and Mood at home can help create a life long love of reading in your children. While your child is reading a story you can ask them how a character has changed or what has happened in to the character. Here is very engaging video of characterization, also called character traits, using the movie Frozen. This video is great for kids and parents alike. It goes into the difference between indirect and direct characterization giving specific examples that you could use to relate to other stories in conversation with your child.
Conflict is what problems the characters have to overcome within the story. Usually when discussing conflict, you also want to discuss how conflict is resolved. To help your child relate, you can also bring up conflicts that they have had in their life. Maybe examples of sharing toys with a sibling, or solving disagreements about whose turn it is on the iPad could be representative of real-life examples of conflict that they can then relate to the story they are reading. You can also discuss the resolutions of how the problem was solved, for example taking turns or sharing. These examples provide a “character vs. character” example. In addition, conflict can be within oneself, against nature, or society.
The mood is how the reader feels when they read the story. Similar to how conflict was discussed, you can also present mood in relation to your child’s real world experiences. For example, how did they feel at their birthday party or how did they feel when they watched a scary movie? Here is a list of “mood words” that can used to help your child express their feelings about the mood of a story.
What other activities are there for parents to help their children learn about the characterization, conflict, and mood at home? Check back later for the last post in this series about reinforcing the concepts of style, tone, and point of view at home.
Photo by: Andy Lamb