Are you looking for creative ways to help your 3rd grade students understand character traits?
In this blog post, we’ll share some fun activities that can engage your 3rd graders in learning about characters as individuals as well as comparing them to other characters.
This will help them better understand who the characters are, what motivates their actions, and why different outcomes happen.
Whether it be through reading stories or role playing – get ready to give your third graders the tools they need to really understand character traits!
What are Character Traits?
Firstly, it’s crucial to define what character traits are with your students. They are attributes or characteristics that describe a person’s behavior, such as being honest or kind.
Be sure to differentiate between character traits and physical traits. Once your students grasp this concept, they are ready to learn some traits.
Create a Character Traits Anchor Chart
Anchor charts are most effective when you create them with your class.
I recommend creating a character traits anchor chart and filling it with many traits at the beginning of your character traits unit. Then, throughout the year, as you read different texts, add more traits to the chart.
Define Character Traits
Some character traits are harder for students to understand the meaning of.
Take time to define and give examples of various traits.
You can use an interactive notebook page and have students define and write about traits.
It’s also important for students to be able to distinguish between positive and negative character traits. Sorting character traits on a T-Chart can help!
Identify Character Traits During Read-Alouds
As you read to your students, take the time to stop and identify the traits of the characters in the story. You can even do this with nonfiction biographies you read to your students.
Story Activities to Practice Character Traits
Practice character traits as you read stories and passages. In the above-pictured activity, students will read stories about a character on a puzzle piece and will match it to the corresponding character trait.
Character trait reading passages are another great way to teach this concept. Students can read a passage and then look for words spoken by a character as well as actions taken by the character that support a specific trait, and then fill them in on the graphic organizer.
Creative Writing to Practice Character Traits
Once your students have had plenty of practice reading and identifying character traits, you can let them do creative writing.
This spinner wheel activity challenges students to spin a character and spin a trait and write a short story in which the character has that trait.
Students will have to show the character having the trait through their words and actions.
Role Playing -Acting Out Various Character Traits
Another fun activity for teaching character traits is role playing.
Write down various character traits on index cards and then put them in a bucket. Have two students draw character traits out of the bucket. Then, given them a scenario to act out.
Example: Student A draws shy, Student B draws kind. Scenario: first day of school
Character Traits of Somebody I Know
Have students choose a friend or family member and then list traits that describe them.
Have them choose one trait to write about in depth. What does the person say that supports them having this trait? What do they do?