Last summer I dug into my pockets and bought a whole class set of the book, "Because of Mr. Terupt". I searched for a book that was appropriate for 5th graders AND would be a fun read. The kids are LOVING it so far. The story is centered around a brand new teacher that proves to be pretty terrific. We have been focusing on character traits since the book features seven narrators, each a student in Mr. Terupt’s, 5th grade class. Each character has a unique story AND a different perspective on what makes their teacher special. We have only read the first two chapters and to be honest, it is hard keeping the different characters straight SO I decided to assign the students a group character traits project. My goal was for the students to create a poster for each character in the story. The posters will provide good visuals for not only the students, but me! Each group was assigned one character from the story. First, we completed a character traits chart together.
We thought about characters that the students have enjoyed the most from books they have read. Next, we discussed what different character traits were. The student's came up with; how the character INTERACTS, the character's FEELINGS, the character's THOUGHTS, the character's WORDS OR DIALOGUE, how a character RESPONDS to situations or another character's problems, and finally, how a character SOLVES a problem!
Next, we brainstormed positive and negative adjectives that DESCRIBE the character's traits. Here is a closer pic of what the students came up with.
In the end, the students needed to 1.) Think of a word that described their character. 2.) Think of which character trait it was describing. 3.) Find a quote as evidence from the story to support their thinking. And Finally, 4.) EXPLAIN how the quote supported their idea! Here is an example of what one of the kids came up with for the trouble maker in the story, Peter.
For the illustration on the poster, one student drew what they thought the character would look like based on what they had read about the character. (Since there were no illustrations in the book!) I loved what they came up with! The other students filled out the character traits squares. The kids had a great time with this! Here are some examples of the finished products.
To download the templates used for this assignment, click on the pic below.
What are some things you have done to teach character traits in your classroom?