Character Traits Foldable and Thinking Map

Here we are again, talking about our book study (can you tell I am LOVING the Core Lit route???)  So today I wanted to share what we did with character traits.

In our book, Bridge to Terabithia (Movie Tie-in) , there are two main characters that we follow throughout:  Jess and Leslie.  The first few chapters do a great job of describing them, so I asked the kids to create a foldable with a picture of Jess and Leslie on the front.  They were to take evidence from the story (you know, reading closely and all) and create their character sketches.

Then, on the inside, I asked the kids to make a double bubble map about these two. They were to find character traits and then list the evidence underneath the bubble.  I asked for direct quotes, but if you remember this post from a few days ago...we are still working on that.

Anyway, what is AWESOME about this is that as the characters change, and we learn more about them and their personalities, we just go back to the sketch and Double Bubble and add to/change it!

One place in this book that we definitely noticed a change in Jess' character was in Chapter 5.  He was a nice, 10 year old kid who does something that seemed to be a bit out of character.  However, some kids didn't see it that way.  They thought that this was deep down "him" and that there were clues all along to prove it.

So what did we do?  We broke out our journals and set out to prove it!  I had the kids pose the question "Was Jess always like this or is this a new development?" at the top of the page.  They then created a T-Chart with one side for "Yes, he was always like this" and another side for "No, this is a new development".  Next, the students broke open the book and began searching for evidence to support their side.

This really was interesting, as students were scouring to find evidence to support their own personal point of view...even if the evidence wasn't quite there!  As a class, we eventually came to the conclusion that this was mostly Leslie's doing, and deep down Jess is a person who cares about the feelings of that is what the evidence supported!

What are you doing as of late to get the kids to dig into their reading?


  1. Love these! Love all foldables:) Great idea! Thanks for sharing:))))

    4th Grade Frolics

    1. Thanks Tara! Foldables do make everything more fun, don't they? :)

  2. I'm always looking for new ways to have my students practice analyzing character traits. Thanks for the idea!

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  3. Great idea! We did something like this with our core lit book. We finished our book today and my students were sad to end the book. They really connect with the novels and you can do so much with novels! We are now moving on to our 4th novel this year! Thanks for some great ideas!

  4. This is a great idea. I do love the foldables. They make learning seem fun somehow!
    Don't you love those moments when you realize that your students are totally engrossed in the lesson...even if it doesn't work out the way they see it (as with Jess character)?

    Mrs. B's Nook


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