Developing a Character

Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Intermediate
Recommended Grades: 3rd to 5th

In this lesson, students will work in small groups to craft a story character through a process of answering interview questions, identifying related characteristics, designing a character emoji with a 3Doodler and writing a short POV narrative based on inferences.

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Lesson Plan


Step 1

State the goal: Using a 3Doodler and writing a brief narrative from a character's perspective.

Step 2

Note that knowing someone well enables us to make inferences about his or her behavior.

Step 3

Brainstorm and record character traits. *Character Trait List for teacher reference.

Step 4

Model answering Interview Questions from an imaginary story character's perspective.
Based on responses, make inferences about this character's personality.

Step 5

List 8-10 character traits on Character Trait Template.
On the board, sketch various brows, eyes and mouths that reflect different character traits, e.g, eager, timid, evil, happy.

Step 6

Using a pencil, fill in the Face Stencil Template with selected brows, eyes and a mouth that reflect your character's traits.

Step 7

Cut and glue 1 facial feature onto each of the 5 foam blocks.

Step 8

Use a 3Doodler to trace over stencil lines 3-4 times to create sufficient height from the stencil block base. This will be your stamp.

Step 9

Create an emoji-character with play dough: Roll and flatten. Press down on play dough with each emoji stamp, eyes, brows, and mouth. Name your emoji character.

Step 10

Collaborate on a POV narrative in a given scenario. Example: What would your character do if he or she found a wallet on a deserted street? Make inferences based on what they know about the character. While writing:
Review appropriate pronouns for first person narrative: "I, me, myself, mine, etc."
Note there may be more than one possible response, and group members will need to compromise.

Step 11

Remind students how narrative events must follow a logical sequence.

Step 12

Divide students into groups and hand out Interview Worksheets, Face Stencil Templates and pencils.
Assign tasks to group members: recorder, artist, modeler or have students share roles.

Step 13

Prompt students to complete interview questions, list 8-10 related character traits, sketch various possible stencils, 3Doodle as stamps and stamp in play dough.

Step 14

Culminate project with POV narrative.

Wrap Up

Students share their emoji characters and responses with the class. Ask, How did interviewing your character affect the way you wrote your narrative? Did your group all agree about how your character would react? Explain. What would you do differently next time? Why?


Review students' interviews, emojis and POV narratives for a logical alignment of character development and reflective behaviors.

Possible Extensions

In guided reading groups, instruct students to make inferences about a particular character's personality traits. List them. Create 3Doodler emojis based on this character. Culminate with a POV narrative based on an alternate story outcomes. Groups swap emoji stamps to create new characters. Students make inferences about their new emoji's character traits based on their facial expressions. Create a POV scenario and respond as their new character emoji.


  • perspective - the relation of two figures in the same plane.

Educational Standards

Common Core

Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.

In This Lesson

Students will write a POV narrative in first person from their emoji-character's perspective. The story must follow a logical sequence of events.

Common Core

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

In This Lesson

Student's POV narrative will demonstrate an understanding of the task, purpose and audience, i.e., their peers.

Common Core

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

In This Lesson

Students will describe an event drawing on specific details, e.g. character's thoughts, words and actions based on their character's interview and related character traits.

Next Gen Science

Define a simple design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process, or system and includes several criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

In This Lesson

Students will work in small groups to design a set of face of stamps for an emoji-character based on criteria set by teacher.

Next Gen Science

Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

In This Lesson

Students will work in small groups to discuss various designs before settling on one for their emoji-character.

CS Teachers

Plan and create a design document to illustrate thoughts, ideas, and stories in a sequential (step-by-step) manner (e.g., story map, storyboard, sequential graphic organizer).

In This Lesson

Students will create stencils that reflect their thoughts and ideas about character traits.

Students will refer to their stencil designs and stamps to make inferences about their character's behaviors while writing their POV narratives.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

The task of writing a POV narrative will be broken down into a series of simple tasks: answering questions, listing character traits, modeling an emoji.


Articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

In This Lesson

Students will use the 3Doodler to leverage personal learning goals, i.e., writing a POV narrative. Students will culminate project in a discussion to reflect on the process, its outcomes and how to improve on subsequent experiences.


Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use the 3Doodler to visually demonstrate character traits associated with interview responses.


Exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

In This Lesson

Students will demonstrate willingness and competency within an open-ended task with more than one possible outcome.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will create original character-emojis using playdough and 3Doodler.


Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will collaborate using the 3Doodler throughout this exercise with group members.
Students will listen, share ideas and compromise.


Contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities.

In This Lesson

Students will share and support each other by taking on various roles, e.g., sketching, recording, modeling, stamping, writing.

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