Study P5 English Character Development: ALTOS & Creating a Memorable Character - Geniebook

Character Development: ALTOS & Creating A Memorable Character

In this article, we will cover a very interesting topic - how to create a memorable character. Character development is a very important aspect of writing and the details that we will cover in this article are aligned to the primary 5 English grade.

 

We will talk about 

  • Various ingredients for creating a memorable character. 
  • How to create an interesting character profile
  • How to create instant impressions (ALTOS)
    • how they Act
    • how they Look
    • how they Think
    • what Others say about them
    • what they Say

 

Create An Interesting Character Profile

Imagine your character had a Facebook/ Instagram page.

  • Name: What is your character’s name?
  • Place of Birth/ Location: Where is he/ she from?
  • Date of Birth: When was he/ she born? How old is he/ she?
  • Family Members/ Background: How many family members does he/ she have? Who are they? What type of relationship does he/ she have with his family members?
  • Friends/ Background with Friends: Who are his/ her friends? 

 

Using the above framework, let’s try to develop a character profile for our friend Cheeky Charlie.

  • Name: Cheeky Charlie Biscoff
  • Place of Birth/ Location: Rochester Town (small town in England)
  • Date of Birth: 10 January 2000 (22 years old)
  • Family Members/ Background: He has a younger sister. They live with their parents and they have a pet dog.
  • Friends/ Background with Friends: His dog is his best friend. He has a neighbour, Jumping Jane, who enjoys tagging along on their adventures.

 

Now, let’s go deeper into enriching our character and making it more ‘real’.

Based on the image you have of the character in mind, or other images the character has on their profile page, delve deeper to help you form your character’s personality.

  1. What are some of the good qualities your character has?
  2. What are some of the weaknesses your character has?
  3. Is your character facing any problems? Are these problems he/ she has to deal with on their own?
  4. Is your character experiencing any conflict with family or friends?

 

Practice Questions

 

Question 1:

Look at the passage below and identify the answer to each question.

It was a warm, sunny day and the clouds hung like puffy marshmallows against a beautiful blue sky. As he bent over to pet his dog, Spot, Cheeky Charlie Biscoff knew it was going to be a great day. Just as he was about to grab his bicycle to go to school, he saw his neighbour, Jumping Jane, waving excitedly and skipping towards him. He wondered why she seemed a tad more excited, than usual.

Who is the main character in this story?

 

  1. Jumping Jane
  2. Spot
  3. Cheeky Charlie Biscoff
  4. The bicycle

 

Solution:

(3) Cheeky Charlie Biscoff


 

Question 2:

Look at the passage below and identify the answer to each question.

It was a warm, sunny day and the clouds hung like puffy marshmallows against a beautiful blue sky. As he bent over to pet his dog, Spot, Cheeky Charlie Biscoff knew it was going to be a great day. Just as he was about to grab his bicycle to go to school, he saw his neighbour, Jumping Jane, waving excitedly and skipping towards him. He wondered why she seemed a tad more excited, than usual.

Why is Cheeky Charlie Biscoff the main character in this story?

 

  1. The story introduces him petting his dog.
  2. The story narrates how Jumping Jane and him met.
  3. The story includes him going to school.               
  4. The story narrates the story from his point of view, including his actions and thoughts.                        

 

Solution: 

(4) The story narrates the story from his point of view, including his actions and thoughts.


 

Question 3:

Look at the passage below and identify the answer to each question.

As Jumping Jane bounced her way towards Cheeky Charlie Biscoff, his younger sister, Mini Madeleine, came out of their home. She greeted Jumping Jane loudly, who immediately shushed her. Gathering Jane and Madeleine in a huddle, Charlie could not help but feel curious about her strange behaviour.

A smile curled on her lips and she asked them quietly, “Have you heard? Uncle George’s home was broken into last night! And I think I know who did it! We need to report the culprit to the authorities!”

Charlie was terrified but seeing how brave Jane was being, inspired him to want to do the same. This sounds like an adventure for them.

Who is a part of Cheeky Charlie Biscoff’s family?

 

  1. Spot
  2. Mini Madeleine
  3. Jumping Jane               
  4. Uncle George                                   

 

Solution: 

(2) Mini Madeleine


 

Question 4:

Look at the passage below and identify the answer to each question.

As Jumping Jane bounced her way towards Cheeky Charlie Biscoff, his younger sister, Mini Madeleine came out of their home. She greeted Jumping Jane loudly, who immediately shushed her. Gathering Charlie and Madeleine in a huddle, Charlie could not help but feel curious about her strange behaviour.

A smile curled on her lips and she asked them quietly, “Have you heard? Uncle George’s home was broken into last night! And I think I know who did it! We need to report the culprit to the authorities!”

Charlie was terrified of criminals but seeing how brave Jane was being, inspired him to want to do the same. This sounds like an adventure for them!

What is Charlie’s weakness?

 

  1. He loved school too much.
  2. He was terrified of criminals.
  3. He was always worried about his sister.               
  4. He usually followed everything Jane did.

 

Solution: 

(2) He was terrified of criminals.


 

Question 5:

Look at the passage below and identify the answer to each question.

Jane informed them that she had seen Uncle George’s son in the middle of the night from her bedroom window. They knew that Uncle George’s son had not been home in a long time. She said she saw him creeping around the backyard and in a moment’s notice, it looked like he disappeared. Charlie did not think Uncle George’s son would creep around his father’s backyard and if he did, he probably had a good reason for doing so.

When she woke up for school in the morning, she had overheard Uncle George telling her mom that someone had broken into his home and stolen some food from the fridge. Charlie, Jane and Madeleine looked at one another, perplexed. Charlie wondered why it was only food that was missing.

What is the problem faced by the characters?

 

  1. A neighbour had his home broken into.
  2. Jane loves to eavesdrop.
  3. They did not know Uncle George’s family.               
  4. They were  too young to investigate a crime.

 

Solution: 

(1) A neighbour had his home broken into.


 

Create Instant Impressions For Your Character Using ALTOS

Describe your character by thinking about:

How they ACT

  • use descriptive action verbs 
  • use adverbs of manner to add details to the descriptive action Verbs
    Example:
    • Cheeky Charlie Brown hung his head, shamefully. 
    • He glared angrily at Jumping Jane and regretted believing her words.

 

How they LOOK

  • use adjectives to add descriptions to the way the characters physically look.
  • use descriptive verbs to add actions to the expressions the 
  • characters may have on their face.
    Example:
    • Cheeky Charlie Biscoff always wore a bright, orange shirt to school and slicked back the strands of his hair so he would look neat.
    • Jumping Jane had her feelings of excitement written all over her face. Her big, brown eyes widened and her ponytail swung behind her as she bounced happily towards them.

 

How they THINK

  • use a descriptive verb that is associated with the act of thinking 
  • putting the thoughts in a dialogue, as though the character is talking to himself
    Example:
    • Cheeky Charlie Biscoff wondered if he could be as brave as Jumping Jane.
    • He glanced at Madeleine, pleading and reasoning with his fears, “Come on, Charlie. Even Madeleine is excited about catching this culprit. You can be brave, too!”

 

What OTHERS say about them

  • This can be shown through dialogue from other characters about the main character.
    Example:
    • Uncle George was so angry that he found Charlie hiding in his backyard. He yelled, “You sneaky, boy! It must have been you who broke into my home!”
    • Jumping Jane jumped to Charlie’s defence and insisted, “Uncle George, Charlie really did have good intentions. He cares about you and wanted to make sure you were safe.”

 

What they SAY

  • this can be said in dialogue by the character
  • the dialogue can also be paraphrased using a descriptive action verb to indicate the tone or content of it.
    Example:
    • Charlie muttered to himself repeatedly, as if to conceal his fear, “I will be brave.”
    • Charlie struggled not to raise his voice at Uncle George even though, it was clear he had been misunderstood. Before he could respond, Jane interrupted and defended his actions. 


 

Practice Questions

 

Question 1:

What does the writer do here to introduce parts of the main character, Cheeky Charlie Biscoff ? 

Think ALTOS!

That night, Charlie, Madeleine and Jane decided to meet at Jane’s house so they could keep an eye out for Uncle George’s son. Although Charlie was skeptical and did not really believe Uncle George’s son would do such a thing, he decided to support Jane and Madeleine’s efforts to find the culprit. He tried to convince himself repeatedly that he was not being a busybody and he was watching Uncle George’s house to help a neighbour.

 

  1. describe the Actions of the main character
  2. describe the Thoughts of the main character
  3. describe what Others say about the main character
  4. describe what the main character Says

 

Solution: 

(2) describe the Thoughts of the main character


 

Question 2:

What does the writer do here to introduce parts of the main character, Cheeky Charlie Biscoff ? 

Suddenly, Jumping Jane started pointing excitedly out the window. There, in Uncle George’s backyard was a crouching figure trying to hide behind the bushes. Without warning, Charlie dashed quickly out of the house. He jumped quietly over the fence and pounced heavily on the crouching figure. He did not know why he acted decisively in that moment, but he knew it had to be done to protect his neighbour.

 

  1. describe the Actions of the main character
  2. describe the Looks of the main character
  3. describe the Thoughts of the main character
  4. describe what the main character Says 

                                          

Solution:

(1) describe the Actions of the main character


 

Question 3:

What does the writer do here to introduce parts of the main character, Cheeky Charlie Biscoff ?

Charlie had just managed to restrain the mysterious man when he heard a familiar voice bellow “Cheeky Charlie Biscoff! How dare you tackle me to the ground in my own home? Were you the one who broke into my home last night? You must have! I thought I heard something and it must have been you! You are truly a sneaky child just pretending to be afraid all the time!”

“Dad, it wasn’t Charlie sneaking around. It was me. I’m sorry for scaring you.” Immediately, everyone turned around and saw Uncle George’s son. He hung his head shamefully before he continued, “I was kicked out of school and didn’t know how to tell you I had to come home.”

 

  1. describe the Actions of the main character
  2. describe the Looks of the main character
  3. describe the Thoughts of the main character
  4. describe what Others say about the main character 

                            

Solution: 

(4) describe what Others say about the main character


 

Conclusion

In this article we learnt about the various ingredients for making a memorable character. This is an important topic that we cover in primary 5 english grade as it helps you to improve your writing skills.

To create a memorable character, we need to 

  • Create an interesting character profile by giving it a name, place of birth, date of birth, family and friends.
  • Create Instant Impressions by using the ALTOS framework:
    • how they Act
    • how they Look
    • how they Think
    • what Others say about them
    • what they Say

The next time you read any story, try to see how the author is developing his characters and how they fit into the ALTOS framework.


 

Continue Learning
Synthesis & Transformation : Reason Relative Pronouns: Who, Whom & Whose
Vocabulary: Synonyms & Word Substitution Pronouns: Demonstrative, Possessive & Reflexive
Editing: Sharpening Your Understanding Synthesis & Transformation: Reported Speech
Verbs: Modals & Interrogatives Synthesis & Transformation - Active And Passive Voice
Character Development: ALTOS & Creating A Memorable Character Grammar Cloze - Revision
Expand Your Vocabulary: Different Ways To Express Speech, Hearing & Seeing Comprehension & Question Tags
The Difference in Some Clozes Perfect Tense & Common Tense Errors
Interrogative Words & Modal Verbs Prepositions - All Types
Comprehension - Factual Questions Simple, Perfect And Continuous Tenses

 

Resources - Academic Topics
Primary
Primary 1
Primary 2
Primary 3
Primary 4
Primary 5
English
Synthesis & Transformation : Reason
Relative Pronouns: Who, Whom & Whose
Vocabulary: Synonyms & Word Substitution
Pronouns: Demonstrative, Possessive & Reflexive
Editing: Sharpening Your Understanding
Synthesis & Transformation: Reported Speech
Verbs: Modals & Interrogatives
Synthesis & Transformation - Active And Passive Voice
Character Development: ALTOS & Creating A Memorable Character
Grammar Cloze - Revision
Expand Your Vocabulary: Different Ways To Express Speech, Hearing & Seeing
Comprehension & Question Tags
The Difference in Some Clozes
Perfect Tense & Common Tense Errors
Interrogative Words & Modal Verbs
Prepositions - All Types
Comprehension - Factual Questions
Simple, Perfect And Continuous Tenses
+ More
Maths
+ More
Science
+ More
Primary 6
Secondary
Secondary 1
Secondary 2
Secondary 3
Secondary 4
+ More
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