Lesson: What are Character Traits?

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify character traits of characters in a story.

Lesson Plan


State Standard:  . 3.LT-EF.14  

Standard Name: Identify character traits in a story. 

Objective:Students will be able to identify character traits of characters in a story. 

Do-Now:  Round robin activity.  Create a list of a minimum of 5 characters that you have studied so far in your class.  Put their names on chart paper and post in 5 areas of the room, have students count off by 5’s and circulate in groups.  Tell them they can write one word they could use to describe the character that they see.  You can also do this with as many characters as you have students for.  You can put it on paper and pass it around, or each group of students seated at a table can do one character or pass around characters at the table. 


Opening: Raise your hand if you can describe to me what we were doing today in our do now.  Ask students to explore how they came up with the words that they did or why they chose certain words or phrases to describe certain characters. 


Directed Instruction: 

Today we are going to learn how to identify characters by using words that we will call traits.  Traits are words that we can use to describe a character’s personality or how they are as a character.  Let’s look at some of the words that we use to describe characters:  I notice a lot of you used words that are happy, sad, mad, we are going to try and get away from using words that are “simple” to describe characters and instead use words that are more complex vocabulary.  Let’s make a list of all of the words we can use to describe a character’s traits.  Use the character trait resource guide to help student’s list traits.  Create a list of character traits for students to have to use as a resource on chart paper. 



Guided Practice: Compete a read aloud with students that has characters displayed that would be easy for students to list traits for.  As you are reading put the character in the center of the chart paper and add traits around the character to you can identify all of the traits.  Guide students on making intelligent decisions about the choice of words they are using to describe a character and make sure they are citing evidence as to why they are selecting the trait they are choosing.


Independent Practice:

Students will complete a similar organizer or graphic organizer that you modeled on their own, in independent or just right books, they can also do this during guided reading groups.  Students should complete a similar organizer or activity that mirrors what you modeled. 


Closing:  What trait would you describe for yourself and why? 



Lesson Resources

Character Trait Resource Guide   Classwork


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Mary Ellen Edwards Posted 3 years ago:

Seriously, second and third graders would be able to identify what these traits mean? My gosh what a huge vocabulary lesson. I am not even sure children this young would know what personality means.  OMG my students must be so far behind!

Emily Bonds Posted 4 years ago:

This looks like a great lesson for 2nd grade when we read Arthur's Reading Race, by Marc Brown,  and focus on character.  Students compare Arthur to D.W. (his sister).  The Character Trait Resource Guide will support students in thinking about the various character traits.  I can't wait to use it.  Thank you!




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