Lesson plan

Comparing Two Characters

Your students have probably heard of both Mickey Mouse and Ironman, but have they ever compared and contrasted them? This lesson engages students in a fun double bubble map activity while helping them learn about internal character traits.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Internal & External Character Traits pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Internal & External Character Traits pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify internal character traits and find supporting evidence for conclusions about character traits.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students that they are going to be comparing Mickey Mouse to Ironman.
  • Place students into small groups.
  • Show them pictures of the two characters and have them discuss how they are alike and different for five minutes.
(20 minutes)
  • Draw a double bubble map on the board with three interior bubbles and six exterior bubbles. From each outer bubble, add a box to create an "advanced" double bubble map.
  • Explain to students the difference between external character traits and internal ones.
  • Give some examples: "Mickey is a mouse" and "Ironman is a human" are external character traits.
  • Explain that internal character traits are the kind that you can't see; they're revealed through a character's actions.
  • Ask students to tell some of the internal character traits that they came up with when talking in a group. Record these on the board.
  • Take a look at the character traits on the board and model for the students how to show evidence for a trait. For example, if they say that Ironman is helpful, talk to the students about times he was helpful. Record one of their suggestions in the box beside the character bubble that says helpful.
  • Complete the interior bubbles and one exterior bubble with evidence for Mickey and Ironman.
(20 minutes)
  • Ask students to work with partners to draw out the advanced double bubble map on their own papers, record what is already on the board, and add to it.
  • Have them discuss the traits with their partner and determine (1) if they are choosing an internal character trait and (2) whether they provide evidence of that trait.
  • During this time, circulate the classroom to make sure students are understanding internal character traits and providing sufficient evidence.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask students to get out a sheet of paper and write about the similarities and differences between Mickey Mouse and Ironman.
  • Remind them to reference their advanced double bubble maps.


  • Provide struggling students with a word bank of internal character traits so they have some ideas to choose from.


  • Have advanced students choose two different pop culture characters to compare and contrast using the advanced bubble map.
(30 minutes)
  • To assess learning, have students complete an advanced double bubble map comparing two characters in a book or story you are currently reading in class.
(10 minutes)
  • As a closing activity, have a discussion with the class about internal character traits and how to identify them.
  • Write the following words on the board: "kind," "brave," "tall," "jealous," and "colorful."
  • Ask the students to tell you which of these words represent an internal character trait.

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