Compare and Contrast Characters
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Basics on the topic Compare and Contrast Characters
Compare and Contrast Characters
Do you want to learn to compare and contrast characters from your favourite book? Learn to compare and contrast characters with the help of a video, fun activities and compare and contrast characters worksheets!
Character Comparison – Definition
A character comparison is a useful method in order to gather details and information about a story. First, let’s identify what exactly comparing and contrasting characters means.
When we compare and contrast two characters, we describe their similarities and differences. When we describe similarities, we talk about things that two characters have in common. When we analyze differences, we describe traits, thoughts, or actions that make these characters different from each other. We do this to analyze characters and to decide which character has more interesting traits.
Character Comparison – Strategy
We compare and contrast characters in a story based on their physical and inner traits as well as on their actions.
- Physical traits of characters are features of their appearance (height, hair colour, style, etc.)
- Inner traits are features of characters’ personality (character, manners, opinions, etc.)
We can use any chapter books or picture books to compare and contrast characters. For example, you can compare and contrast three pigs from the famous story The Three Little Pigs. All of them have similar physical traits - they are pigs and look alike. But they have different inner traits: the third pig is more hard-working than the others, because he built his house out of brick, not straw or sticks like the other two pigs. As you can see from this example, the characters have both similarities and differences.
We can also compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories. In this case, we need to look into the events that happen in a story.
Looking at The Three Little Pigs, we can say that all three pigs had a similar experience of building a house. However, it took the third pig more time and effort to build it.
Compare and Contrast Characters – Example
Let’s have a look at one of the comparing and contrasting characters passages.
Thomas and Emma have been best friends since nursery. They are both tall and have straight brown hair, so often people think they are brother and sister, which Thomas finds very funny. Thomas and Emma are used to doing everything together and today is the first day of school for both of them! Thomas feels a little worried. He wants to make friends, but he is not sure other children will like him. Emma, on the other hand, is really excited. She can’t wait to meet her classmates and to make lots of friends!
To compare and contrast Thomas and Emma, we can use the compare and contrast characters graphic organiser:
We can see from the passage that Thomas and Emma have a lot in common. They have similar physical traits – they are both tall and have brown hair. Also, both of them want to make friends at school. Thomas and Emma also have differences in terms of their opinions and expectations from the first day of school. Thomas is worried, but Emma is excited.
Compare and Contrast Characters – Summary
When we compare and contrast characters, we describe their similarities and differences. We compare and contrast characters in a story based on their physical traits (height, eye colour, hair colour, clothes) as well as their inner (personality, opinions) traits. Use this chart to remember what we compare and contrast about the characters:
Physical traits Inner traits height eye colour hair colour clothes personality opinions manners
Now you can compare and contrast characters in stories! If you want more practice, check out our videos, worksheets and activities, or download the worksheet on comparing and contrasting two characters.
Frequently Asked Questions about Comparing and Contrasting Characters
Transcript Compare and Contrast Characters
“What are you watching, Zayd?” “Oh, only the best show ever!” It's called Togi Versus the World and has the coolest characters!” “Oh? What are they like?” “Togi is a giant cat that saves the world from villains!” “I watch a show with a cat also! It's called Detective Mr Black and it's so good!” Ari and Zayd are discussing characters from their TV programmes. We can help them learn how to compare and contrast characters to decide which character has more interesting traits! When you compare and contrast, you discuss the similarities and differences in something or someone. Remember difference means that something or someone is not the same. You can compare and contrast characters based on their traits, or things about them. For example, there are physical traits like hair colour or height. Let's compare and contrast the physical traits of Togi and Detective Mr Black! We can use a graphic organiser to help us look at the similarities and differences. When we do this, we put the differences in these boxes and the similarities in this box. “Togi is the coolest cat ever. She has brown and black fur and wears a mask while saving the world!” What did you notice about the traits of Togi? Togi has brown and black fur and wears a mask! Now, let's look at Detective Mr Black. “Well, Detective Mr Black is a sleek black cat with a tiny blue hat!” What do you notice about the physical traits of Detective Mr Black? He has black fur and a tiny blue hat. Another type of trait is personality. Let's compare and contrast the personalities of Togi and Detective Mr Black. “Well, Togi is brave and friendly, she even listens to music while she works!” What personality traits do you notice about Togi? Togi is brave and friendly. “But, Detective Mr Black is serious and always calm, and he listens to jazz while he works!” What do you notice about the personality traits of Detective Mr Black? He is serious and calm. We have many traits that we noticed are different, are there any that are similar? One similarity is that both Togi and Detective Mr Black wear accessories like a hat and mask! Is there another trait that is similar? Togi and Detective Mr Black both listen to music while they work! And, they're both cats! But, you probably knew that. Now that we've seen their similarities and differences, is there a character that you like more? Before we check in with Zayd and Ari, let's review. Today we learnt about comparing and contrasting characters. Remember, when we compare and contrast, we look at the similarities and differences between two things. Today we learnt about two different ways to compare and contrast characters. We compared physical traits, like Togi's brown and black fur and we compared personality traits like how Detective Mr Black is serious and calm. Now, let's see what Zayd and Ari think! It looks like they both got absorbed into each other's programmes!
Compare and Contrast Characters exercise
What are similarities and differences?Hints
Mr. Black and Togi are both cats. This is a similar trait.
An elephant is large. A mouse is small. These are different traits.Solution
If two or more things look like each other or like the same sorts of things, you can describe them as similar.
If two or more things look nothing like each other and don't enjoy the same things, you can describe them as different.
What is similar and what is different?Hints
A difference between these two characters is that the elephant is big and the mouse is small.
What do Togi and Detective Mr. Black have in common? Are they both the same animal?
An accessory is something you add to an outfit, like a bag, a hat or glasses.Solution
Similarities are things the two characters have in common. The similarities between Togi and Detective Mr. Black here are:
- they are both cats
- they both wear accessories (Togi has a mask and Detective Mr. Black has a hat)
Differences are things that are not the same. The differences between Togi and Detective Mr. Black here are that:
- Detective Mr. Black has all black fur
- Togi has black and brown fur
Which traits are which?Hints
Physical traits are things we can see, for example, the hair colour someone has.
Personality traits are things that someone likes or how they behave. For example, we could say someone likes football and they are a good team player.
- A physical trait of this dog is that it has brown and white fur.
- A personality trait could be that it likes being outside and digging.
- A physical trait is that this character is a banana.
- A personality trait is that they like the colour blue.
- A physical trait is that this character is a canary.
- A personality trait is that they like the colour red.
Similarities are things that are the same about BOTH Buzzy Banana and Cool Canary. Colours, clothing and hobbies can all be the same.
Look at what the characters are wearing. What colour are these items?
Look at what they are holding. This is something they both like to do.Solution
- Only Buzzy Banana wears blue. This is a difference.
- Only Buzzy Banana is a banana. This is a difference.
- Only Cool Canary is a canary. This is a difference.
- Only Cool Canary wears red. This is a difference.
- Both Buzzy Banana and Cool Canary like to read. This is a similarity.
- Both Buzzy Banana and Cool Canary are yellow. This is a similarity.
How are these characters similar?Hints
Different traits are not similar. For example, the banana wears blue and the bird wears red. This is a difference.
Similar traits are true for both sides. Both the banana and the bird are yellow. This is a similar physical trait.Solution
Both the banana and the bird like to read. This is a similarity.
Identifying physical and personality traits.Hints
Words that describe what you can see are physical traits, like size and colour.
Words that describe how someone behaves are personality traits, like being gentle or trustworthy.Solution
In the description of Pip the penguin, there are physical and personality traits described.
- He is a small bird.
- His feathers are black and white.
- Pip is kind and friendly.
- Pip is confident.
- Pip is helpful and caring.