Characters (and real-life people) have unique attributes called traits. Have your students use the following list of character traits as a guideline when writing book reports about the different characters they’ve read about. Don’t stop with this list, though; you can probably think of many more terms to describe the characters. Think about the characters you are reading about. What traits do they have?
|accepts authority, loyal, devoted||rebellious|
|accepts what’s given||ignores, rejects what’s given|
|affectionate||distant, cold, aloof|
|aspiring, ambitious, motivated||self-satisfied, unmotivated|
|candid||closed, guarded, secretive|
|caring||uncaring, unfeeling, callous|
|change; accepts, embraces||rejects change|
|cheerful||cheerless, gloomy, sour, grumpy|
|considerate, thoughtful||inconsiderate, thoughtless|
|cooperative||uncooperative, unhelpful, combative|
|devoted||uncommitted, uncaring, hostile|
|does what is necessary, right||does what is convenient|
|perseveres, endures||relents, gives up|
|enthusiastic||unenthusiastic, apathetic, indifferent|
|expansive||kept back, tight, constricting|
|faith in life||life can’t be trusted|
|faith in oneself||lack of faith in self|
|faith in others||others can’t be relied on|
|flexible||inflexible, rigid, unbending, stubborn|
|forgiving||unforgiving, resentful, spiteful|
|freedom given to others||authoritarian, controlling|
|friendly||unfriendly, distant, aloof, hostile|
|frugal, thrifty||wasteful, spendthrift|
|generous||stingy, miserly, selfish|
|goodwill||ill-will, malice, hatred|
|honest||dishonest, deceiving, lying|
|humble||arrogant, conceited, ego-centric|
|jealous, not||jealous, envious, covetous|
|kind||unkind, uncaring, cruel, mean|
|open-minded, tolerant||narrow, close, small-minded, intolerant|
|persistent, sustaining||flagging, fleeting, unsustaining|
|practical||impractical, not viable|
|punctual||late, not on time|
|respectful||disrespectful, rude, impolite|
|responsibility; takes||blames others|
|self-confident||lack of self confidence, insecure|
|self-directed||directed by externals|
|self-disciplined||undisciplined, unrestrained, indulgent|
|self-esteem, high||low self-esteem, low confidence|
|serious||frivolous, silly, trivial|
|social independence||social approval required|
|systematic||unsystematic, disorganized, disorderly, random|
|takes others point of view||insists on own view|
|thoughtful towards others||thoughtless, inconsiderate, callous|
|unpretentious||pretentious, affected, ostentatious|
|willing does, willingness||unwilling, reluctant, recalcitrant|
To determine character traits, students should ask themselves these questions. They should take notes as they read:
- What does the character say and do?
- What does the character think and feel?
- How does the character look?
- What do the other characters think of the character?
- How does the character make me feel?
- Character traits are descriptive adjectives.
- Authors may not directly state the trait; you need to infer it!
Understanding character traits helps us to understand the story! We understand. . .
- Why characters say the things they say, and act the way they do!
- Why the characters think the way they think, or why they have certain beliefs.
- Why the characters interact with the other characters the way they do.
- We can better predict what the character may do next!
- We can make inferences and draw conclusions about events in the story while we read.
Information above was taken from this TERRIFIC slideshow! View the slideshow:
Have students think about their OWN character traits!
Developing positive character is vital! Ask your students: Do you have these character traits?
Being accountable in word and deed. Having a sense of duty to fulfill tasks with reliability, dependability and commitment.
Pursuing worthy objectives with determination and patience while exhibiting fortitude when confronted with failure.
Showing understanding of others by treating them with kindness, compassion, generosity and a forgiving spirit.
Self-discipline Demonstrating hard work controlling your emotions, words, actions, impulses and desires. Giving your best in all situations.
Being law abiding and involved in service to school, community and country.
Telling the truth, admitting wrongdoing. Being trustworthy and acting with integrity.
Doing the right thing in face of difficulty and following your conscience instead of the crowd.
Practicing justice, equity and equality. Cooperating with one another. Recognizing the uniqueness and value of each individual within our diverse society.
Showing high regard for authority, other people, self and country. Treating others as you would want to be treated. Understanding that all people have value as human beings.
A firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. Being honest, trustworthy and incorruptible.
A love for and loyalty to one’s country.