Stage 5 reading - Analysing characters

Learning intention

Students will learn to identify how a character is portrayed in a narrative. Students will learn to infer reasons for actions and behaviours of characters.

Syllabus outcome (2022)

  • EN5-URA-01: analyses how meaning is created through the use and interpretation of increasingly complex language forms, features and structures
  • EN5-URB-01: evaluates how texts represent ideas and experiences, and how they can affirm or challenge values and attitudes

Syllabus outcome (2012)*

  • EN5-2A: effectively uses and critically assesses a wide range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing a wide range of texts in different media and technologies
  • EN5-7D: understands and evaluates the diverse ways texts can represent personal and public worlds.
  • EN5-8D: questions, challenges and evaluates cultural assumptions in texts and their effects on meaning

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

National Literacy Learning Progression

Understanding texts

  • nT9: 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); uses processes such as predicting, confirming predictions, monitoring, and connecting relevant elements of the text to build or repair meaning (process); selects reading/viewing strategies appropriate to reading purpose (e.g. scans text for evidence) (process)

  • UnT10: reads and views complex or some highly complex texts (see Text complexity) (comprehension); draws inferences using evidence from the text and discounting possible inferences that are not supported by the text (comprehension); analyses the techniques authors use to position readers (comprehension); integrates automatically a range of processes such as predicting, confirming predictions, monitoring and connecting relevant elements of the text to build meaning (process); identifies language used to create tone or atmosphere (vocabulary)
  • UnT11: interprets symbolism in text, providing evidence to justify interpretation (comprehension); analyses the cumulative impact of use of language features and vocabulary across texts (comprehension)

NAPLAN item descriptors

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.

Creative characterisation

Students articulate predicted thoughts and ideas for characters.


Students identify voice, and the techniques authors use to distinguish voice, in texts.

Identify and infer character traits

Students identify and infer character traits from text excerpts.

Interpreting a character’s feelings through motif

Students analyse texts to determine feelings or emotions of characters.

Elements of characterisation

Students identify how characters can be presented explicitly and implicitly.

Inferring from implicit characterisation

Students infer meaning from subtext - the thoughts, motives and beliefs of a character that are unspoken.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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