It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” William Shakespeare

Characters are the most important element of story, whether fact or fiction. Why? Because just as we are the determinists of our own destiny—the authors of our own stories—characters determine the trajectory of a story, reflecting our own life’s journey of beginning, middle, and end.

The “Characters Determine Story” slideshow uses an excerpt from Charlotte’s Web to demonstrate how the unique personality of a character determines plot and action. The slideshow also explains the critical roles that major and minor characters play in a story and introduces students to the terms protagonist and antagonist. Two class activities are included that will help students learn to identify and distinguish protagonists and antagonists in a story.

Teacher Tip! Please preview the slideshow and educator guide before sharing with your students so you can determine which activities and exercises will best meet the needs of your class.

RESOURCES: Educator Guide | Handout | Bibliography

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