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Lesson Plan: Exploring Characters

Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 4

Lesson Objective: To identify and describe a character’s traits

Common Core Standard:  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).




  • How do you get to know someone new that you just met?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • When you meet someone new, you want to learn about them.  You will ask questions about a new person to get to know more about him or her.  When you spend time with someone new, you see what they like to eat and you see how they are with other people.
  • When you are reading a book, you get to know the characters in the book just like you get to know someone new that you met!
  • Authors will give us information about a character such as what they look like, where they live and who they live with.
  • Sometimes, an author will also tell us what a character likes to do and what their personality is like.
  • But, other times, we learn those things by reading about what the character is doing and how they are interacting or behaving with other people.
  • We can look at the words that they use.  If they use kind, respectful words, then we know that they are a kind, respectful character.  If they use unkind or hurtful words, then we know that they are not a nice character.
  • We can also pay attention to their thoughts if the author shares those with us.
  • Now, you are going to be reading an excerpt from James and the Giant Peach.  While you are reading, pay close attention to the character in the story.  Then, you are going to answer questions about what you just read and the character.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share your answers?  (Allow the students to share and go over the answers.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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