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Analyzing Character Traits


Language Arts  


4, 5  

By – Tricia Moskal



The students will be able to analyze and identify character traits.



The novel, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Small strips of paper (one for each student)

Paper bag


Note from This lesson plan involves a “Character Creation Worksheet” that is not included. You may be able to create your own version of the worksheet or contact the author at the email address at the bottom of this lesson plan to request a copy.


Motivational Strategy: Students will be asked to close their eyes and listen carefully to the description of the character Mrs. Winterbottom taken from the novel Walk Two Moons.


Activity and Procedure:

  1. Ask students to close their eyes and listen carefully to what you are going to describe.
  2. Read a description of the character Mrs. Winterbottom found on page 30-31 in the novel Walk Two Moons to the students.
  3. Tell the students to open their eyes and describe the character you just read to them.
  4. Explain to the students that an author tries to create a mental picture of a character. The author reveals the character’s traits through the character’s thoughts, words and actions. Tell students that these traits are sometimes stated and sometimes implied by the author. Readers often have to draw their own conclusions based on the author’s description.
  5. Ask the students to list the character traits revealed in the passage. Create a character web on the chalkboard that includes specific examples from each student.
  6. Help the students brainstorm a list of character traits such as honesty, courage, and laziness, and have them write them on a small strip of paper. Place the strips in a small paper bag labeled “character traits”. Direct each student to pick one strip from the bag.
  7. Instruct the students to write three sentences that describe a character with the trait that was drawn – without using the word written on the strip. Have the student write one sentence each about what the character thinks, says, and does.
  8. Direct each student to read their sentences to another student to see if they can guess the character trait based on the descriptions.
  9. Hand out the worksheet on Character Creation and the markers/crayons. Direct each student to either use the character trait they picked from the bag or choose one of their own traits to complete the activity. After all students have completed the activity, have each student show their character to the rest of the class.


Closure: Review with the students about how authors try to create a mental picture of their characters in order to understand them better. Have them explain some ways an author can do this (by describing how a character looks, speaks, thinks, and acts).


Outcomes: The students will utilize the skill of identifying and analyzing character traits. The students will also use their imagination to create their own character.


Assessment: Students will be assessed on their Character Creation worksheets according to the attached rubric and on how well the 3 sentences were written during the paper bag activity.


Student Evaluation: Student evaluation will take place when they pair up with another student to read their sentences to one another. The students will be able to evaluate each other’s sentences by seeing if they can guess the character trait based on the descriptions.


Teacher Self-Evaluation: The success of the lesson will be based upon how accurate the students perform in the activity and on the Character Creation worksheet.

E-Mail Tricia Moskal !

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