Skill:  Analyzing Character Traits –  Character Traits are all the aspects of a person’s behavior and attitudes that make up that person’s personality.

(Recommended for Grades 3-12)

Objectives:  Students will demonstrate a deep understanding of a character or person from a fiction or non-fiction text. Students will create a monologue that expresses the thoughts and feeling of one character or person at one specific moment in the story.

Art Forms:

Music CompositionMetalofono1

Dramatic MonologueIMG_7564


Character Trait – a person’s behavior or attitude that makes up a person’s personality (also introduce emotion and attitude words specific to the character/s)

Analyze –  to examine something in detail in order to explain it

Reveal – to make unknown or secret information known to others

Construct – to build, make or create


  • to make into a play, movie or television show
  •  to make a situation seem more important or serious than it  really  is
  • to show in a clear and effective way

Language for Understanding Character Traits

When the character did ______________ it reveals that he/she felt __________________.

When the character said _____________ it reveals that he/she felt __________________.

Introduction Activity

Step 1 – Play different types of music and talk about the emotions that the music evoke. Have picture cards with faces expressing emotions for each student or print out worksheets with the different emotion words .

Check out these websites and preselect specific moods and music you would like to focus on (allmusic, moodstream, aupeo)

Step 2 –Watch a couple monologues (I chose Disney monologues, you don’t have to). Talk about what is happening in each monologue by focusing on their tone and volume, location, props, clothing etc.

Ursula (The Little Mermaid)

Dory (Finding Nemo)

Step 3 – Discuss how the music and the acting of the characters are different, the same?

Thinking Routines (Analyze, Construct, Dramatize)


Answer as many of the following questions about one character from your book:

Emotional – How does this character feel most of the time? How do his or her feelings change throughout the story? How does this character feel about him or herself? When faced with challenges in the story, what emotions come up for this character?

Social – How does this character get along with other characters in the story? Who does this character choose for friends and why does this character choose them?

Fill in the chart below. Consider important events and character behaviors from the story and focus on specific actions of a character and discuss what that tells us about the character’s traits using the sentence frames.

Actions Character Trait they Reveal

When the character did _________________________ it reveals that he/she felt ______________________.

When the character did _________________________  it reveals _______________ about his/her personality.  


Construct a short paragraph or a series of individual lines that show what the character might think. Students do not have to write, they can record themselves saying lines, or the teacher or peer can write it for them.

Start with an interesting sentence or phrase or quotes


Brainstorm ways to make your monologue come alive. Think about your tone and volume of voice, props, clothing etc.

Do some quick internet research if need be to look for pictures or websites that might help you get a better understanding of the characters time, place, emotions etc.

Practice your monologue by yourself, with a partner, on camera etc.


  1.  Give students simple instruments or any source of sound that they could use to create back beats for their monologue, conga drums, xylophone, recorder (or a program such as Garageband)
  2. When creating backbeats have students think about the tone and emotion of their monologue, (happy, sad, frustrated, etc.)
  3. Record the beat created and then play the recording while the student reads/acts their monologue
  4. Presentation (First act out monologue w/ background music)

I created my background music because I wanted to show my character’s _________________ (emotion, personality etc.)In my monologue I showed my character’s emotion/personality etc. by _________________.

Backward Looking

a.Have you done a similar kind of work in the past (earlier grades etc)?

b.Have you made something like this before?

a.What problems did you encounter while you were working on this piece? How did you solve them?

b. What was difficult for you when making _______________?

Inward Looking

a. What was especially satisfying to you about either the process of the finished product?

b. What did you like the most, working on your piece or when it was finished?

a. What did you learn about yourself as you worked on this piece?

b. When working on this project did you like reading, writing, discussing or creating?

Outward Looking

a. What is the one thing you want people to notice when they look at your piece?b. What do think others like the best about your project?

a. In what ways did your piece meet the objectives?

b. Did your piece meet the objective: ____________________________?

Forward Looking

a. What is one thing that you have seen in your classmates’ work or process that you would have liked to try?

b. What do you like about your classmates projects?

a. & b. One thing you would like to improve?