Suggesting Alternatives to a Character's Actions: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Ashley Davis

Ashley has taught first, fourth, and fifth grades and holds a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

In this lesson, you will learn how to analyze the actions or choices of a character in a story. You will also learn how to suggest alternatives to a character's actions.


Think about a time you had an argument with someone. When you are mad, you may say or do things that you don't really mean, but then have to live with the consequences or what happens because of your actions or choices. Have you ever wished you could go back and change your actions, the things you do and say? Today, we are going to look at how a character's choices impact a story and how the story could have turned out differently had he or she taken another course of action or made other choices.

The Tortoise and The Hare

This well-known fable is where we learn that ''slow and steady wins the race'' because under normal circumstances, the hare should have won. Obviously, hares are faster than tortoises. Let's look at how three of Hare's actions impacted the outcome.

1.) The story begins with Hare making fun of Tortoise for being so slow.

  • What is the outcome of this action?
  • Tortoise challenges Hare to a race to prove that he can get from place to place sooner than Hare thinks is possible.

2) Hare darts from the start line as fast as possible.

  • What is the outcome of this action?
  • Hare gets very far ahead of Tortoise, leaving him tired out.

3) Hare decides to take a nap.

  • What is the outcome of this action?
  • Tortoise passes a snoozing Hare, and by the time Hare wakes up, Tortoise is so far ahead that Hare cannot possibly catch up. ''Slow and steady wins the race'' is the moral of the story.

The Tortoise and the Hare

Alternate Actions

What if you could go back in time to the argument we mentioned at the beginning of the lesson? What actions or choices would you change? How would these changes have altered, or changed, the outcome of the argument?

In life, we can't go back and change our choices, but we can create different actions for a character in a story. Based on the new actions we choose, we can also create a new outcome for the story. One way to suggest alternate actions is to state the new action and tell how that action would change the outcome.

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