Showing posts with label Character Traits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Character Traits. Show all posts

A Quick & Easy Way to Teach Character Traits

Have you ever asked a student to describe a character and they answer: nice - or start making a list of their eye color, hair color, etc.?  Click here to get some free resources and tips that you can use to help students start to dig deeper!


How many times have you asked a student to describe a character and they start making a list of their eye color, hair color, etc.?  Or perhaps they say my all time favorite answer: nice. Here are some ways that you can start getting students to dig deeper!


Have you ever asked a student to describe a character and they answer: nice - or start making a list of their eye color, hair color, etc.?  Click here to get some free resources and tips that you can use to help students start to dig deeper!
These resources are available in a free download.


Inside/Outside:

The first step is to explain the difference between inside and outside characteristics.  Choose a character and use this template to work through the character traits.  Start with the easiest: outside.  Students can make a list on the outside of physical characteristics like eye color, hair color, height, or type of animal.  Then you can turn your attention to the inside.


Word Lists:

The inside characteristics/traits can be difficult for students to come up with independently.  You can always give examples from the book.

Have you ever asked a student to describe a character and they answer: nice - or start making a list of their eye color, hair color, etc.?  Click here to get some free resources and tips that you can use to help students start to dig deeper!
This great word list is from Colleen at Totally Terrific in Texas.

I love to go through these lists with students and highlight all of the words that might describe the character.  Then we go through and choose the words that are the best fit.

I often have students keep a copy of these lists in their folders to refer back to when they are answering questions independently.


Student Character Traits:

Now for my favorite activity - having classmates describe each other.  I printed out a list for each student and had them write their name at the top.  Then we took turns passing the papers around each student highlighted one positive character trait of that person.  We kept passing the paper until everyone highlighted a trait for each student.

Have you ever asked a student to describe a character and they answer: nice - or start making a list of their eye color, hair color, etc.?  Click here to get some free resources and tips that you can use to help students start to dig deeper!


I took the results and created a wordle for each student.  I have also put a student's picture in the middle of a piece of blank paper and students have taken turns writing a positive trait on the paper.

Personal side note:  This can be an incredible moving and rewarding activity.  I teach small groups of students receiving Tier 2 and 3 support and their confidence is often affected by their academic struggles.  I have done this with 1st graders through 5th graders and the results are always heartwarming. I love seeing the looks on their faces as we read the positive things their peers had to say about them!

I hope that you find these ideas helpful to you and your students!  Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or other helpful ways to teach character traits!

Click HERE to download the Inside/Outside Character Trait Printable as well as the word lists.

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Have you ever asked a student to describe a character and they answer: nice - or start making a list of their eye color, hair color, etc.?  Click here to get some free resources and tips that you can use to help students start to dig deeper!








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Reading Ritual: Character Hall of Fame

Encourage an inviting classroom environment with reading rituals.

Reading rituals...they are an integral part of our reading classrooms in order to create an environment for readers to be fostered, grown, and encouraged.  They look different in every classroom and some rituals will have more impact than others.

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Out-Of-The-Box Biographies

Hello Literacy Lovers!

Thank you for stopping by to read about one of my FAVORITE ways to integrate art into language lessons!  Please indulge me while I sing the praises of and wax poetic about Hanoch Piven and his picture books!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


Oh picture books by Hanoch Piven!  How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.....


  • Collage illustrations made with quirky and colorful everyday items.  Click {HERE} to see a gallery of portraits an his inspiring TED Talk.
  • Repetitive, patterned text that encourages students to "write their own version of the story."
  • Extensive use of  similes, that provide great models for student learning to use figurative language in their own writing.
  • Anecdotal facts about famous people that highlight a personality quality or character trait not often depicted in history books or the news.
  • Encouragement given to young readers, writers, and artists to "look at the world in a new different, playful way."
  • "Faces" or caricatures made with found objects or "happy accidents" that not only represent the outside features of the person, but also symbolize their inside personality traits.
  • Art created without pencil and paper that encourages descriptive writing and tells a story.
  • iPad app called FACES iMAKE that lets students create their own collages without you having to collect a variety of materials for them to use.  Creativity without clutter at it's finest!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


If you are TIRED of the same old research report or timeline formats you've used with your primary grade students to gather facts about famous Americans, why not encourage them to create caricatures and then use figurative language templates to expand upon and share what they've learned with their peers?  Studying biographies in this "out-of-the-box" fashion is sure to interest and engage your students!

Piven's What Are President's Made Of? and What Are Athlete's Made Of? both have a wonderful format where each famous person is defined by their most outstanding character trait, a collage made of real-life objects that symbolize achievements, interests, or important aspects of their life, and a lesser-know anecdote about them.  For example, the true story of how Washington extinguished a neighborhood fire at the age of 67 is captioned by this succinct sentence.....

George Washington is....made of good deeds.

I created this FREEBIE that I am going to use with my second graders as we learn more about the lives of people that made America great, and I thought that you might like it too!  If you download it, please be kind and leave thoughtful feedback!  You will find it {HERE} in my store.


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!



Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!



Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!



Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!



Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!
Find it {HERE}!


Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


As always, thank you for your continued interest and kind support of Adventures in Literacy Land! We hope that you continue to find our posts full of inspiration, new ideas, and useful materials that help you help children love reading and writing!

Be sure to visit me over at my personal blog, Stories and Songs in Second, for more ideas that will help you work "smarter not harder" in your classroom! You might also be interested in this Pinterest board of Black History Month ideas I've compiled!


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Students will enjoy reading the collage-style books of Hanoch Piven and using the Faces iMake iPad app to create their own "out-of-the-box" biography projects!


Keep calm and teach on!







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