Lesson plan

Identifying Character Traits

What's your "it"? This lesson incorporates Tony Dungy's You Can Do It! into some hands-on activities that help students learn about different character traits.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Choosing Character Traits pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Choosing Character Traits pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify character traits and find portions of textual evidence to support them.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Introduce the class to the concept of a character trait. Explain that a character trait describes the behavior or attitude of a person, and that one could be used to describe anyone in the classroom.
  • Give an example: If someone has a character trait of being persevering,he doesn't give up when things get hard.
  • Provide a non-example to help students understand what character traits are not: Black hair is not a character trait, since it only describes physical appearance. Character traits describe behavior and attitude.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the cover of You Can Do It!, and let students know that today's lesson will be focused on describing a character from the story named Linden.
  • Begin reading the story aloud, and pause halfway through.
  • Display the character trait graphic organizer.
  • As a class, fill out one of the sectors of the chart using what you've learned about Linden thus far. For example, you could say that he's thoughtful, since he seems to think a lot about his future. For textual evidence or a portion of the text that supports your claim, you could use the phrase "I don't know my it," since it shows that he's been thinking about what his special talent could be, but can't figure it out.
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud the second half of the story.
  • Ask the class to think of another character trait to describe Linden.
  • Select one of the students' suggestions to add to the organizer.
  • Ask them to find textual evidence that shows Linden displaying the trait.
  • Again, select one of their suggestions to add to the organizer.
  • Repeat this process for the third box.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute copies of the organizer to the class.
  • Give each student about 10 minutes to complete his wheel for Tony, Mom, or Dad.
  • Circulate the room and provide assistance when needed.
  • Enrichment: Advanced students can be asked to fill out an additional graphic organizer about another character.
  • Support: Struggling students can be asked to fill out one or two sectors of their organizer instead of three.

An interactive whiteboard may be used for displaying and iflling our your graphic organizer.

(5 minutes)
  • Collect the organizers at the end of the independent exercise.
  • Review them later to assess student comprehension of the lesson topic.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask some review questions, such as: What is an example of a character trait? What isn't? Why do you think it's important to be able to identify character traits in a story?

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