Teaching Character Traits: Low Prep Activities

Teaching character traits to upper elementary students can be a complex task. It’s more than just reading a fictional story and labeling characters with certain traits. Students must analyze how characters change over time, compare different characters and their traits, use evidence from the text to identify certain character traits, build their character trait vocabulary, and more.

The resources below offer a variety of different activities to help you when teaching character traits to upper elementary students. Use them to differentiate your character trait instruction, plan engaging lessons, and save time.

More character trait activities will be added over time, so come back often to check!

Ideas for introducing character traits to your 3rd or 4th grade students.  Includes a free character traits mobile.

6 low prep ways to help you build your students’ character trait vocabulary. Includes a fun twist on “Would You Rather Questions.”

 3 free character traits lists – Includes a list of positive character traits, negative character traits, and synonyms for more common character traits.

36 questions based off of Bloom’s Taxonomy to use when teaching character traits. Encourage higher level thinking in your upper elementary students.

No prep ideas on ways to integrate writing into your lesson plans while teaching character traits. All your 3rd or 4th grade students will need is a pencil and paper!

 3 free character trait graphic organizers. Includes a graphic organizer that compares 2 characters, a graphic organizer that requires evidence from the text, and more.

Ideas for incorporating a character traits word wall into your classroom third or fourth grade classroom. Great for building character trait vocabulary.  Includes a free template.

Ideas for integrating technology into your character traits lessons. Includes a free printable for creating a Character Traits Wordle!

A free character traits slideshow to use with your class – includes character trait vocabulary building activities!

character trait games or centers for 3rd and 4th grade students

Help your students practice character traits in an engaging way.  These character trait centers / games are fun for 3rd and 4th grade students.

The character trait links above provide free ideas, activities, and printables you can use when teaching character traits to your elementary students. The activities included will work best for 3rd grade and 4th grade, although many of the activities could be adapted to reach younger (2nd grade) or older (5th grade) students.

The activities above address the following Common Core Standards:

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).


All of the links above provide free ideas for teaching character trait activities into your classroom. If you like the activities but don’t want all of the prep, you might be interested in my CHARACTER TRAITS BUNDLE. It includes task cards, no prep activities, cut and paste activities, reading passages, and more.