Analyzing a character’s traits is an important fiction reading skill for readers of all ages. Character traits analysis helps students with:
- Comprehension: When students understand a character’s traits, they can better grasp the character’s role in the story, as well as the motivations behind their actions.
- Empathy: Character analysis helps students relate to and empathize with fictional characters, encouraging them to develop a deeper emotional connection to the narrative.
- Connections: Understanding the characters likes/dislikes, personality traits, etc. helps students make connections to the character and how they navigate the events in the story.
- Critical Thinking: It promotes critical thinking by requiring students to gather evidence from the text to support their observations and conclusions.
- Character Development: As students become proficient in character analysis, they begin to understand that complex characters are multi-dimensional, and their traits can change throughout the story.
The 10 types of character traits graphic organizers below are great for digging deep into analyzing one character in a story:
1. EXTERNAL & INTERNAL CHARACTER TRAITS GRAPHIC ORGANIZER:
Graphic organizers are a great way to visually break down the difference between internal and external traits. Students describe their outside appearance and actions (external traits) and inner personality, thoughts, and feelings (internal traits).
2. CHARACTER MIND PUZZLE:
This mind puzzle is such a fun, open-ended character traits graphic organizer for students to get creative with character analysis. The teacher can leave it totally open-ended or give specifics as to what students must include on their puzzle pieces.
3. IN _____’S SHOES CHARACTER TRAITS GRAPHIC ORGANIZER:
This is a great character traits graphic organizer for teaching students to empathize with a character. Students fill in “I am…”, “I want…”, “I think…”, and “I feel…” on the shoes.
4. CHARACTER WHEEL:
A character wheel is a simple organizer that breaks down elements of character analysis. You can have students draw their own or use a pre-made graphic organizer. In this character traits graphic organizers pack, the character wheel comes in 2 options: 4 elements or 8 elements of character traits.
5. CHARACTER TRAITS WEB:
At this point, most students are familiar with “web” organizers for pre-writing, describing a topic, etc. This is a great way to give students a familiar format for digging deep into character analysis. Students can just write traits on each circle or write a trait with more details (text evidence, how they show that trait).
6. CHARACTER TRAITS & TEXT EVIDENCE:
Using text evidence to back up ideas can be a very difficult for students to grasp. Using a graphic organizer that is set up where students need to support a character trait with text evidence leaves no room for confusion with this skill.
7. CHARACTER ACTIONS & FEELINGS:
This is another great graphic organizer that helps students to empathize with a character. In this organizer, students identify a character’s feelings and what action(s) made them feel that particular way.
8. CHARACTER TRAITS, MOTIVATIONS & EMOTIONS
The ELA Common Core Standards really focus on describing characters using these 4 elements (traits, actions, motivations, and emotions). This graphic organizer breaks down these elements in a clear way for students.
9. TRACKING CHARACTER CHANGES
Noticing how a character changes and develops in a story is hugely important to deeply understanding the character as well as the entire plot. Using a graphic organizer helps students to break down each change they noticed in the character, as well as what key events helped the character to grow or change.
10. USING DIALOGUE TO MAKE CHARACTER INFERENCES:
Making inferences requires students to use both their background knowledge as well as evidence from the text. In this graphic organizer, students choose up to 4 pieces of dialogue from the story that helped them make inferences about a character. Then, they describe what character inferences they were able to make from the text evidence (dialogue). This graphic organizer can also sent to your inbox for free with your e-mail sign up here.
Looking for more ideas for Fiction Reading Response? Check out this blog post Engaging and Meaningful Fiction Reader Response for Elementary Students!