Lessons & Units :: Character 2nd Grade Unit

Lesson 1: Personality Traits

Lesson Plan

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse | 540L

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
Learning Goal
Describe a character’s personality based on his/her actions, thoughts, and feelings.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Character Personality Chart, Independent Practice, Independent Practice Answers
Not Provided: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes, chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that all people have a personality or character traits that make us unique. I will define personality as the character traits that a person has in their life. I will explain that everyone’s personality is different. I will describe my personality as kind, excited, and creative. I will explain that our actions, feelings, and thoughts help to create our personality. I will mention that characters in stories also have personalities based on their character traits. This makes all characters different from one another and one-of-a-kind. I will explain that one way we can think of a character’s personality is as a recipe. The ingredients, or what makes up their personality are their actions, thoughts, and feelings. We can use a character’s actions, thoughts, and feelings to figure out their personality. I will begin to read Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes stopping at page 8. (“When Mr. Slinger had bus duty, Lilly stood in line even though she didn’t ride the bus.”) I will begin to write a recipe for Lilly’s personality by charting her actions, thoughts, and feelings on the Character Personality Chart. I will explain how Lilly’s actions, thoughts, and feelings tell me about her personality. (Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Example Chart is provided in Teacher and Student Materials below.) Note: Save the Character Personality Chart for use with Lesson 2.

  • Think Check

    Ask: What did I do in order to describe Lilly's personality? Students should respond that you read the text and paid close attention to Lilly's actions, thoughts, and feelings. Then you thought about what type of person Lilly is based on her actions, thoughts, and feelings.

    TIP: If your students are having a hard time distinguishing between a character’s thoughts and feelings, simplify the lesson by replacing character thoughts with a discussion of why a character feels a particular way.

  • Guided Practice

    will finish reading Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. We will finish writing our recipe for Lilly’s personality by charting her actions, thoughts, and feelings on the Character Personality Chart. We will explain how her actions, thoughts, and feelings tell about her personality. (Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Example Chart is provided below.)

    TIP: Chart no more than 3 key actions/thoughts/feelings from the example chart provided during the Guided Practice.

  • Independent Practice

    will create a recipe for Mr. Slinger’s personality by writing several words about his actions, thoughts, and feelings. You will explain how his actions, thoughts, and feelings reveal his personality on the Character Personality Worksheet. (Student and Teacher versions of the Independent Practice are provided below.)

    TIP: You may need to scaffold the Independent Practice by providing word choices to describe Mr. Slinger’s personality.

Build Student Vocabulary considerate

Tier 2 Word: considerate
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story When Mr. Slinger was teaching, Lilly wanted to show everyone her purple plastic purse, but Mr. Slinger said, “‘Not now. Let’s be considerate of our classmates.’ Lilly had a hard time being considerate.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Considerate means thinking about the feelings and needs of others. Mr. Slinger told Lilly to be considerate because he wanted her to think about the needs of her classmates, rather than look at her purse.
Students repeat the word Say the word considerate with me: considerate.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts It was considerate of him to bring his sister warm soup when she was sick. It was considerate of her to help the old woman cross the street.
Students provide examples Can you think of a time when you were considerate? Start by saying, “I was considerate when ________________________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? considerate
Additional Vocabulary Words forgive, uncooperative

Build Student Background Knowledge

After teaching the lesson, explain that Lilly's ideas for what she wants to be when she grows up are called "professions." We are already familiar with common professions like policemen, firefighters, teachers, lawyers, and doctors. Lilly shows us that there are many more professions to consider. Show students the last page of the book, and explain that a surgeon is a doctor that operates on the human body. An ambulance driver picks up people in an emergency and makes sure they get to a hospital in time to be helped. A diva is a female singer. A scuba diver dives into the deep sea to explore and count marine life. Extend the skill taught in the lesson by asking what kind of personality traits might match each of these professions. For example, someone who is adventurous might be a scuba diver. Someone who is patient might be a surgeon, and someone who is talented might be a diva.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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Thank you so much for this lesson. I teach in Spanish and love Lilly's Plastic purse story. I have some girls who have Lilly's character traits. Great resource!

I teach early intermediate (WIDA level 2) high school ESL course. I used Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse to teach character traits and wrote this model essay for a character sketch. I am introducing using evidence from the text, but haven't introduced analysis or discussion. Additionally, I tried to include examples of some of the language objectives I have chosen to emphasize during this unit, mainly possessive nouns (ex. Lilly's) and possessive adjectives (my, your, etc.) One of my content objectives during this unit is to move students beyond summaries.

In the text Lilly's Purple, Plastic Purse , the character Lilly is cheerful, easily upset, and forgiving. The author shows these traits in Lilly's actions, thoughts, and emotions.
Lilly is cheerful. Lilly loves every part of school. She loves her teacher. She loves the food in the lunchroom. She loves the sound her boots make in the hallway. One weekend, Lilly goes shopping with her grandma. She brings her new purple, plastic purse, quarters, and sunglasses to school because she wants to show her new things to her classmates.
Lilly is easily upset. Lilly gets upset when Mr. Slinger takes her purse. She draws a mean picture of Mr. Slinger. She puts the picture in his backpack.
Lilly is forgiving. Mr. Slinger returns the purse to Lilly. She reads Mr. Slinger's note. She starts to cry. She runs to her house. She draws a new picture for Mr. Slinger.
This evidence proves that Lilly is cheerful, sensitive, and forgiving.

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