Lesson: Historical Fiction Character Traits: Bud, Not Buddy (Lesson 9)

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Lesson Objective

Readers can determine secondary characters’ traits through their actions, thoughts, and words

Lesson Plan

Lesson 9:


  • Identify character traits and cite exact textual support for the thoughts, words, and actions that reveal their personalities.
  • Determine the setting and the significance of the setting on the traits, feelings, and motivations


Big Idea: People are influenced by and react to their setting so you need to consider the setting carefully. Readers of historical fiction can use what they know about a setting to understand character actions, feelings, motivations, and traits to make predictions.


Teaching Point: Readers can determine secondary characters’ traits through their actions, thoughts, and words


Reading binders, pencils, copies of Bud, Not Buddy , Tracking Character Traits handout, Mixed review handout


Reading Workshop Lesson:

  •  Readers, we have been learning how in historical fiction, we think carefully about how character traits, the setting, and important events influence the main character’s actions, thoughts, and words. We’ve learned a lot about Bud and have gotten pretty good at predicting his actions based on his traits. Today we are going to shift our focus to one of the secondary characters. We are going to learn that readers can determine the traits of a secondary character through their actions, thoughts, and words.
  • I need someone to remind the class what a secondary character is. [Call on a student to explain that a secondary character is not the main character but is important to the text.] We’ve met a few secondary characters so far. Can anyone name one of them? [Call on students to name secondary characters – Momma (in flashbacks), Bugs, the Amoses, etc.]
  • The secondary character we will be focusing on today is the man from Grand Rapids who picks up Bud in his car. We don’t know much about him yet because he was only introduced in the previous chapter, but by the end of this chapter, we should be able to identify at least one of his traits. I’ll pass out another Tracking Character Traits Handout so that we can keep track of these traits when we find them. [Do that.] Don’t fill it out yet – we don’t even know this person’s name yet, so we have a lot more information to find before we can add anything to the chart.
  • Before we start, remember that Bud thinks this man is a vampire and is trying to drive off in his car. That’s a pretty unusual event. Let’s see how the man responds. [Read the first paragraph.] How does he react to this event? [T&T – notice that he’s not panicking or anything; he actually seems pretty calm.]
  • [Read to page 113 where it says, “Yes, sir.”] Now we know that the man’s name is Lefty Lewis. We can write that on the sheet now. Has anyone started to figure out Lefty’s traits? [Call on a few students – they will probably think that he is funny. Some might say that he is patient for the way that he handles Bud’s crazy imagination. Write those down and add supporting evidence to the boxes.]
  • [Stop at the page break on page 115. Add more evidence that Lefty Lewis is funny.]
  • [Stop at the top of page 122. Add more evidence that Lefty is funny.]
  • [Continue to stop throughout the chapter and add evidence that Lefty is funny.]
  • Scholars, in this chapter, we got to know Lefty Lewis and his family really well. We learned that he is a really funny character. That means that he doesn’t take things seriously and reacts to important or unusual events with humor when other people might not. We should keep that in mind as we read the rest of the book.
  • In your independent reading, you should be noticing your secondary characters’ traits as well as your main character’s traits.

See attached mixed review worksheet.

Lesson Resources

Chapter 11 - Mixed review.docx  
Tracking Character Traits handout.docx  


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