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Free Character Traits Task Cards

Do your students struggle with identifying character traits? If so, have you tried using character traits task cards in small groups to support them?

Character traits include a character’s outside and inside traits. Outside traits describe the appearance of a character and they are much easier to identify. However, when we do character analysis in elementary schools, we mostly focus on a character’s inside traits — his/her personality.

character traits

As I have mentioned in this Character Traits Free Worksheets post, analyzing characters is not an easy task, especially for ELLs and Special Eds. Therefore, it’s important that we provide various types of resources to support these students.

In today’s post, I am going to share my favorite type of resource — task cards. They are no prep, flexible, super engaging, and great for small groups or early-finishers. Here is a freebie for you to try out!

Character Traits Task Cards Type 1 – Short Sentences with Multiple Choices (Cards 1-16)

One difficulty some of my students are facing when analyzing characters is that they lack accurate and descriptive vocabulary. They can describe the personality of the character in a few words or sentences, but they can’t come up with the right trait word. Thus, frontloading and teaching character traits vocabulary is an essential step.

character traits card 1
This card describes one character and provides 3 choices. The character trait words are relatively easy.
character traits card 9
This card also describes one character but provides 4 choices with more difficult vocabulary.

As you can see, these two types of cards are for students who need to expand their character traits vocabulary. The cards provide enough scaffolding and even a bit of differentiation. In addition, students can also make vocabulary cards using the words and examples in these cards.

Read this post to learn more about making character traits vocabulary cards and get a worksheet freebie!

Character Traits Task Cards Type 2 – Different Levels of Texts (Cards 17-32)

After students have accumulated some character traits vocabulary, they can move on to longer texts. The following cards show different levels of text. So they are differentiated to help me do more targeted instruction. On the other hand, the cards also build on each other, providing students with enough scaffolding.

character traits card 17
This is one of the four Level 1 cards. This card has a relatively easy and short text.
character traits card 21
As a Level 2 card, this card provides not only a description of the character but also his actions and words.
character traits card 25
This Level 3 card describes the character in a more vivid way by including the character’s actions, words, and thoughts.
character traits card 29
Instead of fictional stories, the four Level 4 cards talk about four famous historical figures — Beethoven, Edison, Washington, and Gandhi.

For extra support, there is a set of matching cards (see below) at the end of the resource. Just cut them out and let students match them with the character traits cards. Some character traits cards (Cards 17-32) may have more than one answer.

character traits matching cards

Character Traits Task Cards Type 3 – Moving towards Writing (Cards 33-40)

Moving from reading to writing is a challenging step for most of our students, but it’s necessary. According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, “Create” is the highest level of learning. Learning how to write about character traits can also help students write essays, especially narratives.

That’s why I also prepared some cards with writing prompts. For instance, the card below asks students to write a paragraph to describe a character trait.

character traits card 33

In addition, students can also use these cards to play one of their favorite games — Heads up! (also called Hedbanz). It’s a quick question game of “What am I?”

For example, one student can wear a headband with a card facing outwards (or simply hold up a card in front of his/her face without seeing the card). The other student, who is facing the first student, can read the card and answer any questions from the first student with “yes” or “no.” Or the second student can describe the character trait on the card and let the first student guess the trait. Whatever works best for your class.

Character Traits Task Cards Recording Sheets & Answer Key

The best part of task cards is that they are so low prep and easy to use. For all the cards mentioned above, students can record their answers every time in their reading notebooks or the provided recording sheets.

I like to use these cards with my early finishers or sometimes with a small group of students in a literacy center. As a result, students usually don’t have a big chunk of time to work on these task cards. They always work on them here and there, bit by bit. So for students who lack some organizational skills, I always give them the recording sheets to help them keep all the answers in one place.

Of course, the answer key is included for your convenience. Besides, for your responsible ones, if you’d like to send any cards home as an independent work packet, you may send them with the answer key.

To Sum Up

Above I have shared some character traits task cards ideas and examples. From simple sentences with multiple-choice questions to various levels of texts with an optional matching activity, to writing/Heads up! (also called Hedbanz) cards.

If you like the ideas and cards, here is a freebie for you to try! This freebie has all 7 cards mentioned in this post.

But if you want more, you can click the product picture below to purchase the resource in my store.

character traits task cards product
40 differentiated character traits task cards to support and engage ALL your students.

Related Post & Freebies

Read this post if you like to use worksheets and want some ideas about differentiated worksheets.

character traits worksheets

Related Resources

Click the resource picture below to see the preview and learn more about each resource.

character traits PPT
43 Ready-to-teach PPT Slides
character traits worksheets
38 Differentiated Worksheets
character traits bundle
PPT Slides & Worksheets Bundle