Understanding Characters


  • To comprehend and respond to books read aloud
  • To understand the concept of characters
  • To respond to questions
  • To use expressive language
  • To recall and retell parts of a selection
  • To build vocabulary

Children's book


Literature Suggestion
Read Corduroy by Don Freeman, or another book with interesting characters.

Tell children that people, animals, and talking toys in stories are called characters. Hold up a book you've read recently in class, and ask children to name some of its characters.


  • Read the new book. Then page back through it and ask children: Who are the characters in this book? Invite children to describe the characters.
  • Ask children: Which character do you like best? Why? What did that character do in the story? Help each child participate, even if it is to repeat another child's response.
Help children order the sequence of events in the book. Ask: What happened first? Next? Last?

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child listens attentively to the story and is able to name and make accurate observations about the characters.
  • In Process - Child listens fairly attentively to the story and shows understanding by actions, such as laughing or pointing, but needs prompting to name or describe characters.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child is distracted and does not yet show an understanding of the story characters.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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