Identifying character traits isn’t something that comes naturally to our students. Learning to identify character traits can really help our students better understand what they are reading. By breaking down the concept of character traits into bite size sections students are better able to understand it and apply it to their reading. I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite character trait activities that you can use with your students.
The Starting Place
So when I teach a new skill or concept I don’t jump right into activities. Instead I work on helping my students develop an understanding of the concept through mini-lessons. These lessons often involve interactive anchor charts that we make as a class. You can find more information about the character traits anchor charts that I use in this post.
Once your students have been introduced to the concept of character traits then its time to put their new knowledge to practice.
Practicing Character Traits
Once I introduce the concept of character traits we talk about it all.the.time! I always weave in character trait questions to our read alouds. Sometimes we even practice after observing a teacher or staff member in the hallway. It’s a fun way to get students thinking deeper about the people they meet or see.
But while our discussion is important, it’s the hands-on activities that really help my students grasp character traits. These character trait activities are some of my favorite and they are great to use with any story or book. Here are just a few of my favorite activities to use when teaching character traits to my students.
Naming Character Traits
One of the first activities we complete after our first lesson is this worksheet. Here students can connect the creation of our character traits anchor chart with this activity. Not only does this give students a better understanding of what character traits are, but it also helps them with new vocabulary.
Act It Out
Once students know some character trait words they are ready for this next activity. Charades is by far one of my student’s most favorite activities when learning about character traits! It’s so fun for students to act out some different character traits. It’s a great way to really get them thinking about the variety of types of traits people possess. For those students that are kinesthetic learners, this activity is perfect!
Practicing Internal and External Character Traits
One of my absolute favorite character trait activities is this outside and inside character craft activity. Students love creating a character for the class read aloud or any book they have read. This cute craftivity can be modified by your students to fit any character they want.
Students will use the templates to create their character. Then they will think about the character’s external and internal character traits. Students will draw the “outside” characteristics directly on the person. On the inside, students will draw or cut and paste a heart. This represents that the “inside” character traits. Students will write those traits on the inside.
Next, it’s time for them to cut and paste the shirt to the front of their character. Show students what the final craft will look like so they know where to glue. We don’t want them to accidentally cover up the internal character traits.
Opening the flaps of the shirt will show the internal characteristics. With the shirt closed, it shows the external characteristics. It’s such a great interactive activity that really helps students understand the difference between internal and external characteristics.
We work on internal and external character traits with a variety of other activities too. Some activities we add to our reading notebooks and others are more crafty. It’s the repetition that really helps student master the difference between internal and external character traits.
I absolutely love this adorable strawberry craft! It’s an easy way for my youngest students to illustrate the difference between inside and outside character traits. You can choose to print the template on colored paper, or ask students to color it themselves. On the outside, students will list all of the external traits of their character. On the inside, they will list the internal traits. It’s really as easy as that! My students love showing off their sweet strawberries, and I love hanging them all over my room!
Applying Character Traits To Characters Or People
Paragraph Passages To Identify Character Traits
If you are looking for a quick way for your students to do a character trait study, consider using a short passage for a quick study. Students will read the passage and identify the character traits of the character. This activity might not be cute or crafty, but it is a great practice opportunity that doesn’t take a lot of time. These are perfect to use as independent work, in centers, or as a small group activity.
Character Traits Blank Forms
Another fun and easy to use character traits activity are these blank character traits forms. They can be used with any book and make a great reading response activity.
When students complete this activity on their own books, I love having students take turns sharing out about their characters as a class when they finish this activity. We call it a character “meet and greet”. After they have completed the Meet The Character worksheet, each student takes a turn introducing their character to the class. They love sharing some of their favorite inside and outside characteristics of the character with the class. And as a bonus, students often find characters they would like to read about!
Digging Deeper Into Character Traits
After completing some of the super fun character trait activities, it’s time to get your students thinking about WHY characters act the way they do. As students begin thinking about character traits at a deeper level out practice activities follow.
Helping students understand WHY a character is acting a specific way is so much easier when they can see the connection by creating a visual representation. These “why” lightbulb anchor charts show the connection between behavior and the reason for the behavior.
Using the easy to print and cut template, my students list things the character said or did in the circles. Then, write out why they said or did those things in the lightbulbs. My students love creating the wavy or zig-zag arrows showing the connection between the behavior and the reason. They also have a rectangle in the middle to draw an image of their character. This is another great opportunity to refer back to the inside outside anchor charts.
“Eye” See Why Craft
This is a cute, interactive way for students to practice explaining their reasoning when it comes to character traits. Students cut and paste the templates to create flip-up eyes showing what the character did and why they did it.
Students get lots of good practice explaining their thinking with this activity. It’s a great time for them to practice their sentence writing skills too. After they are done writing their sentences, it’s time to glue them all together. Make sure students know where to glue so that the eyes will flip open to reveal their answers. My students really love this craft. It makes a great hallway display and it’s fun to walk by all the eyes!
Character Trait Assessment
The perfect way to finish off learning about character traits is with a fun assessment activity that doesn’t feel like an assessment to your students. This super informative tri-fold activity covers everything we have learned about identifying character traits during the unit, but in a fun and engaging way students love.
The Character Trait trifold activity include:
- Write a sentence telling what the character did and said
- Write sentences explaining why
- List the characters
- List the inside traits
- Illustrate the outside traits
- Draw pictures of the character’s friends
- Draw and write predictions about the character
- Illustrate the character’s likes and dislikes
- Students draw your character in action
With all of these activities included in this Character Trait trifold, your students will be able to show you all of their learning in one fun to complete activity.
Character Trait Activities
Most of the activities listed in this post have a coordinating digital version too. The digital activities are compatible with Seesaw and Google Slides. This makes using these resources as digital activities easy and convenient for you and your students.
Grab Your Character Traits Unit
Using interactive activities like anchor charts and crafts really help students get involved and excited about learning about character traits. Your students will be character trait experts after completing these activities. You can find all of these Character Trait activities (and more) in the Understanding Characters Unit.
Save these Character Trait Activities
Pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can quickly come back when you are looking for fun and engaging activities for teaching character traits.