Lesson: Character Analysis: Paying Attention to Behavior

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Lesson Objective

Identify and describe the personality traits of characters and how their thoughts, words, and actions reveal their personalities.

Lesson Plan



State Standard:

5.LT-F.4. Describe the relationships between major and minor characters; analyze how a character's traits influence that character's actions.





Identify and describe the personality traits of characters and how their thoughts, words, and actions reveal their personalities.

Do Now

In your journal respond to the following quote. Remember to discuss what it means and your first thoughts.


“If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t know it well enough”-anonymous



Rap Character  portion of the Characters Setting Plot Song http://www.educationalrap.com/song/characters-setting-plot.html Rap: Lyrics


We’ve got the characters, the setting, and of course the plot

It’s the elements of fiction that I’m talking about

Verse I

In any decent story, you’ve got to have characters

The people in it, and they can be generic or

They can be complex, interesting, unique


Like a girl who walks on her hands and writes with her feet

The protagonist, the main character, the good guy

In most works of fiction, is usually opposed by

The antagonist, the bad guy, the villain

“But what about the other folks, are they just chillin’?”


Nope, not really, though some of them are static

So they’re flat, one-dimensional, nothing real dramatic

And people with the drama are called dynamic characters

Like if they start out calm and get hysterical


Or if they start out in love and end up not

That’s the motion and emotion that propels the plot

“What’s that?” Fear not, I’ll tell you in verse III

Here’s how it goes writing fictional prose

Direct Instruction

Students we been studying major and minor characters.  We know that characters in a story are sometimes very dynamic. Understanding characters is critical to REALLY understanding a story.  Good readers pay attention to what characters look like, what they think or say, their actions, and what other say about them.   Who the characters are  as people and what people think of them drives the action in the story. Readers, today we are going to notice how characters behave and what people think about them. We will try to understand why certain characters behave in certain ways. We will use this character traits graphic organizer to keep track of our thinking about our major character (show students graphic organizer: See Below). Explain each section of the organizer. 


Readers it is important to think about characters actions and their relationships with others when reading a story. Analyzing the characters increases our enjoyment and comprehension of a text.  Today, we are going to read, Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. As we are reading, we are going to notice the behaviors of Trisha the main character in the story. As we notice we are going to ask ourselves, “Why does the character behave that way?” “What do other think of her and why?”  At the end of a text you should know your characters well enough that you can explain them to anyone, even someone who hasn’t read the book. Using the strategy you learn today, asking questions about a characters actions, will help you really get to know the characters in your story!


T: Model filling out graphic organizer as you discuss. After page 4: Ask what is making  Trisha behave in a depressed/sad way? Who are the other people we have met and who has strong opinions of her? (answer: She feels dumb and different because she can’t read. All the other children are reading but she can’t. She even more because she can’t read. Then her grandmother who is her comfort dies, and school becomes harder for her. 

Right now I would describe Trisha as depressed. She is acting depressed because she is so sad and feels lonely. 


Let’s continue reading to learn more about Trisha’s personality.


Guided Practice

Continue modeling and discussing her personality traits as they relate to her actions and feelings. Work together to complete graphic organizer. 

Independent Practice

Students complete graphic organizer using independent reading book.


Students share their use of the strategy. Teacher reiterate why this is important.




Assess students ability to describe their character and write a summary of their character using evidence from the text.



Lesson Resources

Characters Paying Attention to Characters Behavior   Activity
Rap Song


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