Sunday, August 4, 2013

Teaching about character traits

As we have entered the month of August, every teacher, whether she likes it or not, starts thinking about school.  Some of us have dreams (or nightmares).  Some of us go on a Pinterest spree.  We walk through Target and ask ourselves "What do I 'need' from the dollar section?"

You don't do this?  Okay, maybe it's just me.  Anyway, we are also thinking about what were some of our students' challenges last year, and how we will address them this year.  My third and fourth graders had difficulty with vocabulary and making inferences, which was evident in how they would describe their characters:




Oh my.

So late last school year, I developed this chart of character traits with the intention of helping students organize their thinking when selecting a character trait. Traits are arranged in alphabetical order in the following categories: nice/mean/sad, confident/nervous, and does a lot/does very little. The rest of the categories are partially alphabetical and having a corresponding opposite.

This year I will be teaching second graders, so I'm thinking how I will adjust this chart to better suit their developmental abilities:  Less words?  Words that are more relevant to a second grade schema?  Some pictures or graphics to support the vocabulary?  Some food for my thought...

Many teachers or parents who have downloaded this chart seemed very happy, and I'm happy that they're happy!!


  1. Thank you I am HAPPY! I downloaded & rated! Thank you, very helpful!
    The Apple Basket Teacher

  2. Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for your lovely feedback!

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  4. I'm doing character traits this week with my kids and this is a GREAT list! Thanks!!

  5. You're very welcome! Thanks for visiting!

  6. Replies
    1. You're so welcome! Thanks for the feedback!

  7. Love your character trait chart! Stealing and using! Thx!!!!

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  9. I teach 2nd grade, as well and think this chart is okay. The child will be able to gravitate towards they word they are more comfortable with using. It kind of lends to differentiating itself. I think it's great- thanks!

  10. This is fantastic! We've been working on Character Traits this week and I have been racking my brain on what to do next.. Thanks so much!

  11. This is wonderful! Did you ever simplify this chart? I have a first and second grade combo class, and it is a little hard for the second graders now, but they can handle it. However, the first graders are pretty overwhelmed with it! If you have it simplified and are willing to share, please let me know!