We have read various Cinderella stories and this is a good way to start the lesson. I write Cinderella on the board and ask the class to describe Cinderella to me. I want to know what she looked like, what her personality was like, and any other key details that separate her from other characters they know.
I add their ideas around her name. I then underline the words that stick out as character traits. We then review character traits. I like to remind them that when they were in first grade they would only have to name the character, but now they need to make connections and try to understand the character more fully.
Now that we have worked on the character traits of Cinderella, I ask the class to try to brainstorm a list of other character traits. I set a timer and tell them they have two minutes to write down all of the character traits they can. I remind them to think of characters they have read in their books.
I tell them to start writing and then let them have the two minutes. We do a brief share out loud of each others lists and we help each other clear up any misconceptions. Form this activity they have a better understanding of character traits and how we might use them to describe a character.
Students will use their white boards to help them with the next activity. I hand out a worksheet that is in the shape of a person. Each of the parts of the person require the student to answer another question.
I will read to them an excerpt from Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman. I have chosen a paragraph about Martin Luther King during the bus boycotts in Montgomery, Alabama. I will read to them and I just ask them to visualize the character and think of traits that fit to describe him. I stop often to check for understanding and make sure that the class is understanding what I am reading. This constant check in allows for questions and clarification, but keeps them also listening.
When I finish reading, we work together to fill in the character person worksheet. I remind them to use character traits to add to their answers. As we read each question I ask them to share their thoughts before we write our answers.
With our character connection completed, we are ready to discuss what we learned. I ask them to explain more about what they learned about Martin Luther King Jr. I ask how did they learn it and what character traits they used to describe him.
I try my best to allow them to continue the discussion and add to each other's ideas.