Character Traits Detective


Studying character traits?  If so, this is the blog post for you!

Character Traits are a favorite unit of ours; one reason is there are SO MANY good books and strong characters to choose from! We will share the books we love to use for this unit throughout the blog post.





Like our Story Elements pack, we created the Character Traits Detective pack out of the need for simple, easy to use graphic organizers and tools that can be used with any book (and multiple times for repeated practice).  



Let's take a look at some of our favorite activities!

One of the first things we do is to have the kiddos think about themselves.  What outside characteristics (what do people see?) would you list for yourself?  What inside character traits (how do you act?) would you list for yourself?  This concept is the hardest for our students to grasp - that character traits are the way a character acts, not what they look like.  


Once we have done that, we do the same activity with a character in a book that we read aloud.  In this case, we used the book Molly Lou Melon (affiliate link).  This book is a MUST HAVE in your classroom library!  So many great lessons! 


Next we practice finding a character trait that defines a main character in a book that we read aloud.  In this case, we used the book Pigsty (affiliate link).  We do this particular activity with multiple books so that students have plenty of practice identifying character traits.  We do this whole group, small group, and eventually....independently.  


Later we take a look at how one character in a book might have a change in the character trait(s) that have been identified.  In this case, we used the book Lion's Lunch? (affiliate link).  This book is great at showing how a character can transform from being the "bad guy" to the "good guy."   


Once we have had plenty of time looking at one character in a book, we take a look at how character traits vary between two different characters in one book.  In this case, we used the book The Recess Queen (affiliate link).  In this book, the two main characters "Mean Jean" and "Katie Sue" vary in obvious ways.  The book is very relatable to students because it takes place at school, mostly recess.  


Throughout the unit, we use a couple of tools to help students with character traits.  

This magnifying glass reminds students that identifying character traits requires that you look "inside" the character - how does the character act vs. what does the character look like.

The magnifying glass tool is great for students to keep in their Daily 5 bucket so that they can think about character traits as they read independently.  

The Dog Who Cried Wolf (affiliate link)

This character trait clipboard gives students a bank of ideas to use when determining character traits. They can use the clipboard for any of the activities in this blog post.  

The clipboard tool is great for students to keep in their Daily 5 bucket so that they can think about character traits as they read independently.  


Once we have had plenty of time to work on character traits, we love using this Character Trait Detective Scoot Game.  Students move around the room and read character scenarios and identify character traits.  This works for a practice activity or even an assessment. 


All of the activities / tools in the blog post can be found in our Character Traits Detective pack.  You can use the activities multiple times and, most importantly, can be used with any book you choose!


We showed many of the books that we like to use in this post, but there are many more we use to practice!  Check these out!

The Pout Pout Fish (affiliate link) 

Olivia (affiliate link)

Junie B. Jones (affiliate link)

Tacky the Penguin (affiliate link)

Leo the Late Bloomer (affiliate link)

Splat the Cat (affiliate link)


No comments

Post a Comment