As teachers, we are constantly questioning our students. We all know how important it is to ask our students higher level thinking questions, but often the questions we think of on the spot are more knowledge or comprehension based questions.
Questions that encourage students to analyze, apply, or evaluate their learning are harder to come up with on the spot. Use this list of higher order thinking questions as you teach character traits to challenge your 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.
You can download a printable version (pdf) of these character traits questions at the bottom of the page.
- What character trait was the character displaying when he/she ________?
- Which character was ______ (funny, grouchy, helpful, etc.)?
- Explain what a character trait is.
- What character trait describes the main character?
- Make a list of 5 positive character traits.
- Make a list of 5 negative character traits.
- Based on his character traits, explain why the character acted the way he did.
- What other stories/books have we read where a character exhibited this same trait?
- Predict what would happen if the main character started acting in a lazy (or compassionate, hateful, silly, etc.) way.
- Think about the main character's traits. Give an example of a situation where these traits would be helpful.
- How would the plot have changed if the main character was greedy (or brave, impolite, etc.)
- What questions would you ask the main character about his behavior?
Main Idea, summarizing, and theme are hard skills to teach and hard skills for students to understand. Curriculums often do not address these skills in a way that make sense to students.
- Explain how the character's point of view affected his behavior.
- How did the main character's traits affect the other characters in the story?
- What caused the character's behavior to change?
- If you were asked to divide the character's in this narrative into 2 groups, how would you categorize them?
- Think about the character's main trait. What are some pros and cons of behaving this way?
- What motivated the character to behave this way?
- Give an example of when a character was ______ (kind, selfish, generous, etc.).
- Sort this list of character traits into positive and negative traits.
- What's the most important character trait that describes the main character?
- Explain why you would describe this character as ______.
- How are the character traits friendly and helpful (or cruel and unkind, etc.) different?
- What differences do you see in the two characters' traits?
Do your students have a limited vocabulary? Check out these 6 ideas for building character trait vocabulary.
- If you could assign the main character a different trait, what trait would you give him? Why?
- Was the character's behavior consistent with the character traits the author gave him?
- Would the story have been better if the character had displayed a different character trait? Why or why not?
- If you were grading the main character on how smart (or bossy, adventurous, etc.) he was, what grade would he get?
- What is the best character trait to have? Why?
- What is the worst character trait to have? Why?
- Write a story where the main character is jealous (or loyal, friendly, etc.)
- Based on this narrative, create and fill in your own character trait graphic organizer.
- Create an illustration for the story. Make sure the illustration shows an understanding of the main character's traits.
- Rewrite the story, with the main character exhibiting a different character trait.
- How would this narrative had been different if the main character had different character traits?
- Write a story where the main character's traits change from negative to positive throughout the story.
Download a printable pdf of these questions here:
Character Traits Higher Order Thinking Questions
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Activities and Ideas for Teaching Character Traits
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