Monday, March 10, 2014

Analyzing Characters {Freebie}

I'm joining The Reading Tutor OG, where I am the guest blogger today, for a discussion on using mentor texts to analyze character.

Characters reveal themselves through their words, actions, and feelings. Strategic readers gather clues to a character's personality by tuning in to what the character says, thinks, and does.  We want students to not only be able to identify the traits of a character, but also be able to support their thinking with evidence from the text.

The posters below provide a great visual for students when introducing character traits.  You can click on the image to download the {free} set.
In my experience with teaching character traits, students sometimes lack the vocabulary to 'label' the traits that they see in a character. Thus, their descriptions are vague. I've included a list of character traits that students can use as they begin to identify them. You can download it {free} by clicking on the image below.

Created by Workshop Classroom
One of my favorite books to read when I introduce character traits is A Bad Case of the Stripes.

Story Summary (provided by Amazon): Camilla Cream worries too much about what others think of her and tries desperately to please everyone. First stripes, then stars and stripes, and finally anything anyone suggests appear vividly all over her body. The solution: lima beans, loved by Camilla, but disdained for fear they'll promote unpopularity with her classmates.

Storyline Online is a great place to go for videos of your favorite stories read aloud by famous actors. My students enjoy the videos, and I love how easy it is to pause the story to discuss our thinking about it.

I created a graphic organizer for students to use as they analyze Camilla's character.  Students record the trait that they inferred and the evidence from the text that supports their thinking.  Click on the image for your {free} digital copy.  

Clipart by The 3AM Teacher

What are your favorite books for teaching character analysis?  Please leave a comment below or link up with The Reading Tutor OG and share your ideas.


  1. Wendy, I love this post! You always include so many great ideas! We use storyline online as well (I recognized Sean Astin). I LOVE your graphic organizer for character traits. That is actually what I had in my plans for today, but for Horton.
    That First Grade Blog

  2. Wendy, thanks for hosting this week! I love this list of traits! Thanks for sharing.

    Teaching Momster

  3. Thanks for sharing. I cannot wait to use this with a kido I tutor.