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Young people in the classroom taking part in 'Role on the Wall' activity for character development through film

Role on the wall

If your students embrace character work through film and you would like to develop it further we have two more activities for you to try. The first of these is “Role on the Wall.”

Choose one of the characters from either Sausage or Between Us (this works just as well for characters from written texts as well). We are going to explore this character further by using a technique called Role on the Wall. When using this technique, begin by asking a student to stand against a large piece of paper pinned against the wall and draw around them (large paper works really well for group work) or you can use the downloadable Role on the Wall template below for individual or pair work.

Having selected your character, watch the film clip again and make notes inside the character outline describing what he or she is thinking / feeling. Outside the outline, you could jot down what others think of him or her and facts you know about them.

Role on the Wall also works well as a whole class activity. Simply hang a number of Role on the Wall templates around the classroom (to coincide with the number of characters you wish to analyse) and ask pupils to work in groups, analysing a character each and putting words or sentences about that character onto a post-it note. Use a different coloured post-it note for feelings, emotions, facts and questions.

If you are working with a class you can ask them to stick their post-it notes to the relevant Role on the Wall template, thereby creating an invaluable word / ideas banks for use in the next couple of activities.

Role on the Wall provides an almost infinite variety of activities related to character.

How would you adapt Role on the Wall for use within your classroom?

What have you written about your character?

Add to the comments below.

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Literacy Through Film

The British Film Institute (BFI)

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Why use film to improve literacy?
    Why use film to improve literacy?

    Watch this short video to discover how and why learning through film improves literacy.

  • Foley sound
    Foley sound

    This step is an introduction to Foley art, and has a video clip with Foley artist, John Fewell.

  • Stills from The Girl and the Fox that show different shot sizes.
    Developing writing through camera shots

    Linking camera shots and positions to still images in this activity, can provide a great writing stimulus in creating narrative.

  • Record and Playback
    Record and Playback

    An introduction to the technique of Record and Playback, a simple but very effective tool for curricular learning.

  • Two images each showing samples of a shoe box set design.
    Shoebox set design

    Making a shoe box set takes your pupils on a filmmaking journey that produces literacy outcomes, and is a great tool for assessment. PDF provided.