We’ve made teaching character traits easy with this collection of free resources for your reading workshop.
This is another free resources for teachers created by The Curriculum Corner.
Why should you focus on character traits?
Helping children understand character traits is an important part of helping children grow as readers.
The resources supplied here are meant to be used with students already able to identify the main character.
This set focuses on resources to help students understand what character traits are. They will also learn the difference between the physical and character traits of the characters in stories.
We have added a few organizers at the end that will help your students begin to understand how to compare characters using their knowledge of character traits. Also, students will be identifying and describing how a character might have changed within a story.
You can download the complete, free collection at the bottom of this post by clicking on the bold, red words.
This organizer is meant to help your students begin thinking about the difference between actual physical traits and internal character traits of the characters in their stories. Model this organizer in front of the class as you ask students to begin to think more deeply about the characters in their stories.
Character Traits Lists
Looking for character traits lists? You will find them in this collection!
There are two anchor charts which give your students some ideas for beginning character traits.
These lists will help to move students away from describing their characters using only their appearances and will get them to focus on the personalities of the characters in their stories.
We have created two anchor charts so that you can choose the one that is best for your students. You might use both as a means to differentiate among your students.
Character Traits vs. Physical Traits Sorting Cards (with Recording Page)
If you feel some of your students might need more practice with distinguishing between physical and character traits, we have created a set of 36 trait cards for students to sort.
These could be used for a mini-lesson, a small guided reading group activity or even a literacy center.
We have included a recording page if you want students to write the words they are reading as they sort.
There are four graphic organizers you can model for students during mini-lessons to further discuss and/or review character traits.
Use these during independent reading so that you can talk with students during reading conferences to check for understanding.
Traits Exit Tickets
This is a set of three different exit tickets focused on characters. They vary in level so you can use them as you move through your teaching or you can differentiate for the needs of students in your classroom.
The first has students simply identifying the main character. The second requires students to identify the main character along with a physical and a character trait. The third has students identifying a character trait while supporting evidence from their story.
This graphic organizer has students using what they’ve learned about the characters’ traits to compare characters from the same story or different stories.
As always, model this for students before expecting them to work independently.
We also need to get our students thinking about how characters may change in the fiction stories they read. (This will be the basis for understanding static vs. dynamic characters as their reading level grows.)
Have students choose a book where the main character changes in some way from the beginning to the end. A book where the character learns a valuable lesson and then changes is a good idea.
Read the story aloud and model this organizer. It will require your students to pinpoint a character’s traits, describe the problem the character faced and decide how the character has changed in the story.
Be sure to remind students that not all characters change in stories. You want them to think carefully about their specific characters in order to be able to complete this organizer.
This is a simple story map that includes a review of elements such as main character, setting, problem and solution. It also contains a section for students to list traits.
You can download the free collection here:
If you are new to reading workshop, you might also be interested in:
Preparing your Reading Workshop
Below you will find some of our favorite books for teaching this skill (contains affiliate links)