It’s All in the Personality: Character Traits
Students will be able to identify character traits by using text evidence and write a small paragraph analysis about a character in a story.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- Read The Little Red Hen as a whole group.
- Ask students to think of words that describe the Little Red Hen. Write these words on the board.
- Tell students that these words are called character traits.
- Show students the Character Traits chart, read the definition, and discuss how these traits are important whenever you want to analyze, or describe, a character in a story by using evidence from the text.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)
- Inform students that rarely an author will come out and say a character is cheerful or proud. Instead, the reader must discover it by analyzing a character’s actions and dialogue.
- After a brief discussion, display the Split Mind graphic organizer by drawing it on the board or displaying it with a projector or interactive whiteboard.
- Using another character from the story, model how to fill in the graphic organizer by drawing a picture that represents a character at the beginning and then at the end of the story. Remember to draw pictures that describe the character's actions, physical traits, or words they used.
- Write evidence from the story to justify your drawings. Then write 3-5 sentences that describe your character using the symbols or drawings you made along with evidence from the text.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Ask for volunteers to draw other pictures that represent a character’s actions, thoughts, or dialogue in the story and have them show where they find evidence in the text to support the drawing.
- Next, as a whole class, write 3-5 sentences that describe your character using the symbols or drawings that you did along with evidence from text.
Independent Working Time (25 minutes)
- Tell students that in this activity they will be working with their group to analyze a character and find out who they are in the inside, or to find their character traits, and to fill out a Split Mind organizer about that character.
- Review any new vocabulary words they will encounter in the story that might be hard for them to read.
- Tell students that as they read the story they must underline words and actions that might give them an idea of the personality of the character, as this is the evidence they will use to support their symbols or drawings.
- Organize your students into groups of two or three and provide a copy of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and a graphic organizer.
- Tell students that they should read the story as a whole group and everyone in the team is responsible for a drawing. As a team, they should come up with 3-5 sentences that will describe the character using their drawings and evidence.
- Enrichment: For students in need of a greater challenge, have them support their writing by giving their opinions about how a character changes from the beginning to the end of a story and how this might affect other characters or outcomes in the story.
- Support: For students that need extra help, give them a story that has the character’s traits underlined and have them come up with their own drawings or symbols and write sentences that explain why they drew what they did and what they represent about the character.
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Give students another short story like The Princess and the Pea and have them fill out a graphic organizer on their own.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Remind students what character traits are by creating an anchor chart.
- Have students share with a partner about their graphic organizers.