Developing your character

Use technology to engage your pupils and encourage them to think about what interests, hobbies and habits make a character. Using the Who owns this phone? resource encourage pupils to use their inference and deduction skills to gather information about the phone owner, including gender, age, hobbies, martial status and job.

Next, ask your pupils to create their own home screen for their character using the My Character’s mobile phone resource below. Remind pupils they must justify their decisions with explanations.

Once they have made their character’s home screen pupils should share this with a partner and write inferences about their partner’s character.

Next, in pairs, pupils should discuss the two home screens. How similar are they? What different inferences did they make?

What’s in a name?

Encourage your pupils to consider the name they choose for their character. It should suit the character’s traits and personality, as well as their physical appearance. Ask your pupils to research the etymology of the names of famous characters in literature. Encourage them to consider how suitable they are for the character.

Discuss these character’s names with pupils:

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

  • ‘Albus’ means ‘white’, like his beard. 
  • ‘Percival’ suggests ‘battle’ as Percival was one of the knights in King Arthur’s court. 
  • ‘Wulfric’ means ‘wolf power’. 
  • ‘Brian’ is an old Celtic name, meaning ‘noble’. 
  • ‘Dumbledore’ means ‘bumblebee’, which is sweet. 

Draco Malfoy

  • ‘Draco’ is Latin for a terrifying beast that spits fire – a dragon.
  • ‘Mal’ derives from Old French meaning ‘bad’ or ‘evil’.
  • ‘Foi’ meaning ‘faith’ or ‘trust’.

Katniss Everdeen

  • The katniss plant has nourishing roots, and is also known as “arrowhead.” It belongs to the genus Sagittaria, and the constellation of the same name, Sagittarius, is also known as the archer—a fitting ode to her impressive bow-and-arrow skills.
  • Everdeen rhymes with evergreen, of course—and Katniss is responsible for those around her year round.
  • One could even read the name as “ever dean”: Katniss always has to serve as a leader.

You may also find the What’s in a name? resource useful.

Building Vocabulary

If your pupils are interested in this type of work, the activities about words and their origins in Section 5: Structure might be worth looking at this point.


Who owns this phone?
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What's in a name?
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