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Lesson Plans
Drawing Conclusions: Detecting Character Traits
3rd–5th Grade
Objectives Objectives
  • Students will draw conclusions about a person’s character traits based on information in a reading passage.
  • Students will identify character traits and provide evidence to support their conclusions.
Materials Materials Needed
Procedure Procedure

  1. Explain to students that authors often give us clues about events that are going to happen in a story. Good readers are able to use those clues to draw logical conclusions. In addition to giving clues about events, authors also give clues about a person’s character, by telling what the person says and does. Ask students a question such as, “What conclusion might you draw about a person who frequently digs his hands into his pockets and frowns as he kicks the dirt and grumbles to himself?” Invite students to share their ideas, which might include that the person is angry, frustrated, pouting, or moody.
  2. Tell students that they are going to sharpen their detective skills by drawing conclusions about characters from information they find in a reading passage.
  3. Give each student a copy of the “Phone Plan” reading passage. (You can also display a copy on an overhead projector or write the story on chart paper. Then students can choose to follow along by reading their own copy or by watching as you track the reading with a pointer.)
  4. Assign the roles of Chris and Mom to two volunteers. Give them a few minutes to read through their lines before you begin. Then ask the class to follow along as the volunteers read the passage.
  5. Ask students to think of words to describe Chris (e.g., forgetful, responsible, thoughtful, hopeful, and so on). Write the words on chart paper. As students supply character traits, ask them to give examples from the passage that illustrate these traits. If you have displayed the passage on a projector or chart paper, underline the clues in the story as students identify them.
  6. Now have students describe the mother’s character traits. Underline the clues in the story that lead students to these conclusions.

Independent Practice

Independent Practice

  1. Tell students that you’d like them to apply the same detective skills to identify a character trait in one of the characters from a book they are currently reading in class. (Or you can have students analyze a character from a book that they are reading or have recently read on their own.)
  2. Provide each student with a copy of the blue ribbon reproducible. Have students choose a character and write down the character’s name. Then prompt students to list one trait of that character, along with two clues that support that trait. Have students record the page numbers where these clues can be found.
  3. Display the students’ completed blue ribbons on a bulletin board titled “Detecting Character Traits!”

View the 3rd–5th grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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