September 1, 2018
By Jasmine Gibson

EL Support Lesson

Using Evidence to Analyze a Character

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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the How to Analyze a CharacterLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the How to Analyze a CharacterLesson plan.

Students will be able to use evidence to describe the traits of fictional characters.


Students will be able to use evidence to analyze a character using written supports.

(2 minutes)
  • Write up a short list of words on a classroom anchor chart labeled "Traits" to describe a person (focusing on traits such as confident, friendly, funny, smart, kind, generous, determined, patient, brave, etc.) and read the list of words aloud to the class.
  • Tell the students that all of these words are called "traits" and can be used to describe someone. Say, "One of the ways we can describe a person or a character from a story is by using words to tell how they behave or look. A TraitIs what makes them unique or special."
  • Explain that today they will get to practise identifying the traits of people and characters.
(8 minutes)
  • Introduce the remaining tiered vocabulary words to the students by displaying the vocabulary cards and sharing the definitions. Have the students practise using the words in a sentence by turning and talking to a peer.
  • Refer back to the class anchor chart and ask students to brainstorm other traits. As needed, explain that traits and feelings are not the same thing.
  • When the class has brainstormed additional traits, ask the class to choose two traits from the chart to describe you.
  • Write up a T-chart titled "Traits/Evidence" on the board.
  • Ask students to turn and share their ideas with a partner.
  • As students share out, record their ideas on the T-chart.
  • Ask students to prove their thinking using evidence. Provide examples as needed to demonstrate how to use evidence. For example: "I am patient; I wait for everyone to finish a project before starting something new."
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that now you will be reading aloud a text, and as you read, you will be paying close attention to the main character, Duck.
  • Project the worksheet on the board and record ideas.
  • Read aloud the text and pause to notice Duck's actions, words, and expressions.
  • Invite the class to help you find and describe Duck's traits while finding evidence to support their claims.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students that they will now get to practise identifying traits and evidence for a character on their own.
  • Explain that students can choose to analyze either Bob, Farmer Brown, or Duck (although encourage students to use different ideas than the class recorded previously).
  • Pass out copies of the Analyzing Characters worksheet for each student to complete independently.


  • Provide pre-written sentence starters for students to utilize when recording their evidence.
  • Pair students up with another student who speaks the same home language (L1) to verbally share their ideas before recording them in written form.


  • Encourage students to write more detailed sentences to describe themselves or their character.
  • Provide additional vocabulary words for students to utilize when describing a character's traits.
(5 minutes)
  • Informally assess students by listening as they pair-share their ideas and asking open-ended questions about the characters students chose to focus on in the independent work portion of the lesson.
  • At the end of the lesson, collect student worksheets and assess whether students were able to use the classroom anchor chart and accurate evidence to describe their fictional character.
(5 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and invite students to turn and talk to share one of their traits and the accompanying evidence with a partner.
  • As time allows, have students share out with the class while you record their ideas.
  • Close by saying, "As we read we can pay close attention to how a character looks, acts, and speaks in a story, and that can help us learn more about who a character is as a person."

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