Lesson: Historical Fiction Character Traits: Bud, Not Buddy (Lesson 11)

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Lesson Objective

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

Lesson Plan

Lesson 11:


  • 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, character traits practice for independent work


Reading Workshop Lesson:

  •  Readers, yesterday we left off at a very exciting point in Bud, Not Buddy. Today we are going to read chapter 13 and learn what happens after Bud tells Herman Calloway that he is his father. Meanwhile, we are going to identify the traits of a new secondary character – Herman Calloway.
  • [Read to where Herman says, “Now you look here…” on page 150.] Any thoughts about what kind of person Herman Calloway is? [T&T and share. We won’t write down any traits yet because we don’t know Herman Calloway well enough to know how he acts most of the time.]
  • [Read to page 153 after Herman walks off the stage. Take more comments about Herman’s traits.]
  • [Read to the top of page 156.] Readers, I think we’re starting to see a pattern in Herman Calloway’s words, thoughts, and actions. We see that in the way he acts toward Bud and the way that the band members talk about him. What are some of Herman Calloway’s traits? [T&T, then share out. Pass out the Tracking Character Traits handout and write down the traits and evidence for those traits.]
  • [Read to the end of the chapter, take comments and predictions as needed.] Scholars, we are beginning to meet a lot of secondary character at once. I know that in your historical fiction reading, your main character might also meet a lot of other characters with many different traits. It is important to get to know those characters’ traits really well by noticing patterns in their words, thoughts, and actions.


Lesson Resources

Chapter 13 - Character Traits.docx  
Tracking Character Traits handout.docx  


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