Books to Teach Character Traits, Feelings, and Actions

September 24, 2017

I made an effort every year to set some specific read aloud time available in my classroom. Some days it was 10 minutes, other days I could stretch it to 20. Either way, it was one of my most favorite times of the day. I could teach so many skills while my students got to enjoy a story that wasn’t focused on a reading level. That being said, I still very much wanted to make my read aloud time purposeful, so I would scour my libraries for the best books for each skill I wanted to teach at that time of year.


As September rolls along every year, we begin to meet our characters in different stories. I want my students to be able to identify the inner and outer character traits of main characters as well as their actions and feelings. I chose the following 6 books to teach character traits, character feelings, and character actions.
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These are some of my favorite mentor texts to help teach character traits. We read each of these picture books when learning about how a character acts and feels and what that says about them. Head over to the post to read exactly how I use each book!


Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae:
I use both of these books to kick off our character unit. They are great for students to identify character traits – both inner and outer!


A Weekend with Wendell & 
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes:
In these two classics, we identify characters and the feelings they have throughout the story. These two books always allow for great discussions around our feelings at the beginning of the year!


The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch:
I use both of these books to model character actions and what it says about the character.


You can see any of the above books here:
(Amazon affiliate links below)


I also spent all of last year creating one page lesson plans for all of the above books with stopping points and questions that relate to the skills I mentioned! If you want to see those and try a FREE one click the image below and download the preview:

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  • Hey Susan! Im trying to download the one page lesson plans for the books that go along with the character traits/feelings unit. Nothing happens. i am clicking on the interactive read aloud picture. Help please. Thanks. Love your blog