Stage 4 reading - Analysing character

Learning intention

Students will learn to analyse texts to identify how characters are portrayed through their literal and inferred traits, behaviours and actions.

Syllabus outcomes (2022)

  • EN4-RVL-01: uses a range of personal, creative and critical strategies to read texts that are complex in their ideas and construction
  • EN4-URA-01: analyses how meaning is created through the use of and response to language forms, features and structures

Syllabus outcome (2012)*

  • EN4-1A: Responds to and composes texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure
  • EN4-2A: Effectively uses a widening range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing texts in different media and technologies

*Note: Visit the Leading curriculum K-12 website for more information on the syllabus implementation timeline.

National Literacy Learning Progression

Understanding texts

  • UnT9: draws inferences, synthesising clues and evidence across a text (comprehension); distils information from a number of texts according to task and purpose (e.g. uses graphic organisers) (comprehension); selects reading/viewing strategies appropriate to reading purpose (e.g.scans text for key phrase or close reading for learning (process)

  • UnT10: draws inferences using evidence from the text and discounting possible inferences that are not supported by the text (comprehension); integrates automatically a range of processes such as predicting, confirming predictions, monitoring, and connecting relevant elements of the text to build meaning (process) 
  • UnT11: analyses the cumulative impact of use of language features and vocabulary across texts (comprehension); strategically adjusts the processes of reading and viewing to build meaning according to the demands of tasks and texts (process) 

The relevant NAPLAN item descriptors are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Task outline

Full task descriptions are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Character discovery

Students define meanings of a variety of traits and behaviours exhibited by characters they have read about, or developed themselves.

Character traits and behaviours

Students pick a character from a well-known text and describe what they might think, say, and do in response to various scenarios. Students compare two similar characters from different texts and draw connections between how certain types of characters are represented in texts. Student then compare traits, actions and vocabulary of the protagonist and the antagonist in a text.

Character development

Students choose a character from a familiar text and identify the moment that the character changes.

Protagonist and antagonist

Students learn about the importance of the protagonist and antagonist in a story and how the tension between the two helps a story build momentum.

Inferring a character’s point of view

Students learn how to identify explicit and implicit characterisation. Students use the STEAL mnemonic as a process to reveal character traits.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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