Teaching Characterization in the Digital Classroom

Using digital interactive notebooks to teach characterization in the middle school and high school English classroom

One of the things I love the most about teaching literature is teaching characterization. Authors devote countless hours to creating their characters, and as readers, we grow to love them, hate them, laugh with them, and cry with them. Making connections with characters in literatures is essential, because that is how we connect universal themes and conflicts to our students’ everyday lives. Creating an environment that cultivates a relationship between our students and the characters we read about is essential in supporting a life-long love of reading in our students.

This next year my school is going 1:1. Every single student on school will be given a Chromebook to use, and teachers are encouraged to embrace digital learning. Combining my love of characterization and technology, I am very excited to have students keep a continuous digital characterization interactive notebook throughout the entire year. With every new short story, drama, and novel we read, I will have my students copy and paste their characterization graphic organizers into one Google Slide.

Using digital interactive notebooks to teach characterization in the middle school and high school English classroomAs a ninth grade English teacher, I like to emphasize how characters change and grow throughout the plot. I encourage my students to analyze characters and their actions, dialogue, and various points of view.

My hope in having students work in a continuous, growing digital characterization interactive notebook is that by the end of the year, my students can see a pattern. I want them to be able to easily recognize archetypes on their own. I want them to be able to see, understand, evaluate, and analyze similarities and differences between many of the characters we read from different genres.

To help my students in this process, I’ve created various Digital Characterization Interactive Notebooks. These notebooks will be a valuable tool in my classroom because students will be able to copy and paste different organizers into their notebooks. They will be able to track and analyze main characters as well as supporting characters. But most importantly, completing the activities and graphic organizers in these digital characterization interactive notebooks will provide my students with enough critical thinking and information to be able to successfully write character analysis essays at the end of each major reading assignment.

Available Digital Characterization Interactive Notebooks: