I don't know about you, but my students have the hardest time differentiating between character traits and feelings. After scouring many (and more) blogs, Pinterest boards, TPT stores, and anywhere else I could think of, I left empty handed. Oh, I found plenty of great stuff, but none of it was exactly what I was looking for. So I combined a few great ideas I discovered with a little of my own to come up with a series of mini-lessons on character traits vs. feelings.
I started with an anchor chart...
I love anchor charts, and I am a believer that you have to make them with the students, otherwise they just become one more poster that is never really used. We started our lesson with the obvious--physical traits. After adding it to the chart, they shared the physical traits of a character in their literature circle books.
The bulk of the lesson, however, was spent on personality traits, a much more subtle and difficult concept. We listed traits, then antonyms to make our list even longer. I discovered that this was as much a vocabulary lesson as it was comprehension! They then had to go on a book hunt for characters with particular personality traits from any book they've already read or are currently reading.
Next, we listed feelings, and compared them to traits. It took quite a bit of discussion, but students came up with feelings as being temporary things based on situation, and traits being more permanent...who a character is as a person...while they may change gradually over time.
Finally, (my favorite part), prove it! If you claim a character to be brave, you need to cite evidence to prove your claim. Insert...opinion and persuasive writing!
Today we followed up with a character comparison Venn diagram as a literature circle response activity. We will be working on written responses (citing evidence of traits), and make character trading cards (similar to baseball cards).
I have a freebie of the primary version of these character trading cards at my TPT store:
Intermediate versions are all part of a literature unit. Here is one for a book one of my literature circles is reading right now: