April 9, 2014

Posing for Character Traits

I've found that my students don't truly understand many of the words that we assume they are familiar with. This disconnect between what the teacher assumes the students already know and what they actually know is especially prevalent with character trait words.

There are many lists of character trait words out there (just search for it, they're easy to find and free). I mashed them up and made my own. Feel free to use it. Click on the image below for the full document.

To help my students strengthen their understandings, we started by identifying the words on the list we weren't sure of. We identified 14 words including:
* ambitious
* arrogant
* considerate
* gullible
* impulsive

Then, I assigned one word to small groups of students ~ a word for each group. They had TEN minutes to:
1. Figure out the meaning of the word using classroom resources
2. Design a tableau - essentially a frozen scene - demonstrating the trait
3. Make or gather any needed props
4. Practice

Each group presented their tableau and the class used inference skills to figure out the meaning of the word.

I'll be posting these images on a wall in the classroom as visual reminders. We'll be doing the remaining 8 words over the next two days.

The students had so much fun that they cheered when I told them we would do it again tomorrow. Ahhh... happy learning students = happy teacher

Were you surprised by any of the words they didn't know?

~ Amanda


  1. Thank you for posting! Great idea! I have 4th grade so in the new year, I will chunk each of your lists and see what words the kids know and don't know and try your strategy!