Character Traits

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10199

Do you like boring stories? What is more interesting, a plain rock or a puppy? Boring, dull characters make boring, dull stories! Learn how to identify traits of characters that make them come alive!



learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Can you decide what famous fictional character these words describe: brave, strong, fearless, courageous, friendly, helpful, honest, witty, selfless, has a spider sense, naïve? Did you guess Spider-Man? If you did, you were correct! How did you figure it out?

Every character in a book has traits that describe his or her personality.

Traits are the describing words (adjectives) that define a character’s actions and attitudes.

When an author creates a character, he or she not only chooses what they physically look like, but also creates a personality. This personality determines what the character will think and do.

When the creator of Spider-Man, Stan Lee, thought about what kind of person Spider-Man was going to be in the comic books, he might have written a list of traits like those written in the opening above.

Every well-written character has both positive and negative traits, because every real human has both. Are any of the above traits negative traits of Spider-Man?

What might people say your personality traits are? Are you humorous? Polite? Energetic? Cheerful? Messy?

This Identifying Character Traits printable from will give you more information. While you are reading, notice what they say is the job of the reader. Yes, the job of the reader is to infer the character traits from what the character says, thinks, and does.

Continue on to the Got It? section to play a game of character charades!

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