• Character and characteristics spinners from Story Spinners
  • Workbooks or paper
  • Writing pencils
  • Flipchart / whiteboard and pen

Learning Outcomes:


Spoken Language

  • Listen and respond appropriately to adults and peers
  • Ask relevant questions to extend understanding and knowledge
  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes
  • Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • Participate in discussions and performances
  • Gain, maintain and monitor the interest if the listener
  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication

Writing – Composition

  • Develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing by writing for different purposes (story writing)
  • Consider what they are going to write before they begin by planning or saying out loud what they are going to write about
  • Read aloud what they have written with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear


  1. Explain that in this session you are going to focus on creating characters for a story. Explain that to be believable characters need to be well thought out, and the writer needs to know as much as possible about their character.
  2. Show the class the story spinners. Ask one of the children to spin the ‘who’ spinner. Write the result on the board. Next ask one of the children to spin the characteristics spinner, again write the result up on the board. Repeat twice more with the characteristics (if you get a result that contradicts one you already have, then try again e.g. young / old, rich / poor)
  3. Once you have these start words, begin to add to the character. Ask the children to think about other characteristics that fit with the ones they have from the spinners. For example, an astronaut with the words strong, wise and rich – you might want to add their age, whether they are a boy or a girl, what they like to do when they are not exploring space. Add these ideas to the board so you start to get a full picture of the character. Give them a name, height, hair colour and eye colour as well. The children should be able to close their eyes and picture the character.
  4. The children should then repeat this making their own characters with the spinners. They can do this individually or in pairs. This can be done as a mind map, flow chart or however the children are most comfortable recording their ideas.
  5. Finish the session by encouraging the children to share their character ideas

Extension Ideas:

  • Use the flowcharts / mind maps as the basis for a character description. Children to read their description to a friend. Can their friend picture the character in their head?

Find our range of Story Writing resources here: