Lessons & Units

Character 3rd Grade Unit


Lesson 1 Identifying Descriptive Language Identify descriptive language in the text that describes a character.
Lesson 2 Using Evidence to Describe a Character Use evidence from the text to describe a character.
Lesson 3 Changes in a Character Use evidence from the text to describe how a character changes throughout a story.

Unit Extension Ideas

  • After reading a story, have students compare the actions, physical descriptions, and feelings of two characters from one story. Chart the comparisons using a graphic organizer. (See Additional Activity A Worksheet in Teacher and Student Materials below.)
  • Using independent reading books, students should use descriptive words and provide text evidence to describe characters.
  • Have students fill in a graphic organizer with words that describe a character in the beginning, middle, and end of a story, making sure to include text evidence. (See Additional Activity B Worksheet below.)
  • On sentence strips, write the names of the characters from a story. On separate strips, write descriptions and actions of each character. Pair students with a partner and have students match the descriptions to the correct character. Students should use evidence from the story to explain why they feel the character matches with the description.
  • Students can fill out a “Character Graphic Organizer” about their character before completing a genre piece of writing. This should assist them in creating a well-developed character. (See Additional Activity A Worksheet below.)
  • Ask students to fill out a “Character Graphic Organizer” with another student as a character. (See Additional Activity A Worksheet below.) They should give specific examples, use descriptive words, and include information about the character’s actions. Have students trade graphic organizers with a partner and see if the partner can guess the student being described. Use the graphic organizer to write a paragraph about the student being described.
  • Provide students with a list of boring words and have them use a children’s thesaurus to find words that are more descriptive. They can keep a list of descriptive words to use in their writing.
  • Students can create character cards. On the front of each card, have students draw a picture of a character, write the character’s name and a description. Then, on the back of the card, students draw a picture of a character at the end of the story with a description. Use the character cards to explain how a character changed in a story.

More Books for Teaching Character

Crow Boy
Horrible Harry Moves Up to Third Grade
Doctor DeSoto
Amber Brown is Not a Crayon
Beezus and Ramona

User Comments


This is such an amazing resource. I have been doing the same thing for awhile and am looking for some fresh ideas! This character study looks like a great unit.