Studying Character through Dialogue

So far in this series, we have talked about studying character traits and their meanings and identifying the different types of characters in a story.  An author uses the dialogue in a story to tell us things about the characters.  When studying character, it is helpful to focus on the words of the characters in the story.  Both the words of the character you are studying and the words that other characters say about that character can tell us information about a character.  The actual spoken words of the characters in a story is called dialogue.

The Character’s Dialogue

The things we say to others often give away how we feel or think about things.  In the same way, a character’s words show us how they feel or think about the things that are going through.  Talk with your child about what the main character says to other characters.  Ask your child why the character says certain things and what that shows us about them.

The Dialogue of Other Characters

The things that other characters say about the main character can also give us insight into what the main character is like.  When the mother talks to the father about the boy in the story, we learn new information about the character.  When the boy’s friend thanks him for helping him with his homework, we learn that the main character is kind.  Encourage your child to think carefully about the words that other characters say and what they tell us about the main character.

Words are important in books just like they are in real life.  An author uses the dialogue in stories to show us what a character is like instead of just telling us.  Use the dialogue in a story to find out more about the characters in that story.  Next we will discuss how a character’s actions can add to what we know about the character.

How do you help your child focus on the words of the characters in a story?

Photo by:  SmartTutor.com



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