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Character Traits
Second Grade Smiles
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Understanding and applying character trait vocabulary can be a challenge for many students. This resource will help students to define and understand character trait vocabulary by using character traits to describe themselves, classmates, and familiar fairy tale characters.
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Character Traits with Fairy Tale Friends

Understanding and applying character trait vocabulary can be a challenge for many students. This resource will help students to define and understand character trait vocabulary by using character traits to describe themselves, classmates, and familiar fairy tale characters.

These resources can be used independently, but work best when incorporated into a fairy tale unit.


Here’s what’s included, along with a few notes on how I use each activity in my classroom:

Character Trait Reference Lists: The first page includes a lengthier trait list, the second is shorter but still contains all the words needed to complete the activities included in this pack. You can use the two lists to differentiate, or choose the list that best suits your class. In my own classroom, I introduce these lists as a whole class activity. Students glue the lists into the left side of their language arts notebooks. They discuss what the words mean in pairs, one column at a time, and highlight unfamiliar words. We then discuss unknown words as a group and make notes about their meaning on the right side of our notebooks.

Portrait Sketches with Descriptions: Pages 6 and 7 are designed for students to begin to apply the character traits on the lists. On page 6, students sketch a self-portrait and choose traits that best describe themselves. On page 7, students sketch a friend, family member, or teacher and use character traits from their lists to describe that person. As they complete these activities, I encourage students to use previously unknown words where they can to help them to become more familiar and comfortable using new vocabulary.

Character Trait Sort: On page 8, students begin to think more deeply about the traits as they sort the character traits into categories. They are asked to choose and write ten positive traits and ten negative traits from their trait lists. My students glue these pages into their notebook for reference as well.

Character Trait Bubble Maps: Pages 9-32 contain character trait bubble maps for various fairy tale characters. Students will apply character traits from their lists to the given character. On the back of each page, they will explain why they chose one of the traits using evidence from the fairy tale to explain their thinking. Writing paper with and without handwriting lines is included for the latter part of this activity.

Character Trait Cards and Recording Sheets: Pages 33-44 contain 48 character trait task cards and recording sheets. On each task card, students read a few sentences describing actions a fairy tale character has taken and then determine which character trait would best describe the character. Two versions of the 24 card set are provided for differentiation. The gold set provides four multiple choice answers to choose from. The blue set leaves a blank space for students to fill in a trait that fits the character’s actions. These cards can be completed as white board work by displaying cards on a projector one by one and discussing each card as it is completed. They also can be used as a whole class scoot game, or as an independent or partner literacy center activity. An answer key for the gold set of cards is provided. (Answers will vary for the blue set of cards.)


These activities address the following Common Core Standards:

*CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.7: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

*CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.3: Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

*CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3: Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).


You may also be interested in these fairy tale resources. Click the links for more information.

Comparing The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs


If you and your students enjoy this resource, please consider following my store. Freebies and new products are posted regularly. You can contact me with any questions or requests at [email protected]

- Amanda Taylor @ Second Grade Smiles
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About the Seller
3 Reviews

I have been teaching elementary school in an urban district in Massachusetts for six years. I began my career teaching in first grade and have now transitioned into second grade. I especially enjoy creating engaging book studies and center activities for my students.

I believe in providing my students with plenty of positive reinforcement and a variety of ways to access any and all academic content. My lessons incorporate authentic, hands-on, and cooperative learning experiences whenever possible, and I provide many opportunities to build reading and writing skills across all content areas.

I hold a bachelor's degree from Clark University where I majored in Psychology and minored in Education and Sociology. My master's degree is in Teaching and is also from Clark University.

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