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Sara Pintauro

March 2018

A. TITLE OF LESSON (Writing Focus): Writing with Interest to Characters


2.12 The student will write stories, letters, and simple explanations.

a) Generate ideas before writing.

b) Organize writing to include a beginning, middle, and end for narrative and expository
c) Expand writing to include descriptive detail.


UNDERSTAND – The students will understand the ways to describe characters in each story.

 The students will identify the main characters in the story
 The students will write about the characters.
 The students will know multiple words to describe the main characters.

DO – The students will identify the main characters and write about the characters and their
different traits.

I will assess student learning during discussion about the book, by asking them who they thought were the
main characters. I will also ask them what each character looked like, acted like, and have them give me
words to describe them.
I will also assess learning by collecting student work samples where they described the main characters. I
will be looking that they described both physical features, as well as personality traits.


I will be using Enemy Pie by Derek Munson as the mentor text for this lesson. It will be read aloud
lesson with the whole class. It will be during their reading time that they have every day, on the carpet. I will
point out when they introduce a new character, and list the differences we see in the characters. I will
explain to the students that the characters have both physical traits, and personality traits.

 Enemy Pie by Derek Munson as my mentor text (provided by me)
 Writing paper (provided by the teacher)
 Pencil to write with (provided by the students)


CONNECT Once I have the class on the rug, I will say we are doing a
Students learn why today’s writing lesson using Enemy Pie as our guide for the day. I
instruction is important to them as will ask them if they have any idea what character traits
writers and how the lesson relates mean. I will then give them examples of character traits. I
to their prior work (if applicable). will tell them I have blonde hair, blue, eyes, and am
The teaching point is stated. wearing black shoes. I will ask them what type of traits I’m
Before listing. I will make sure they understand that those are
examples of physical traits. I will then tell them that I am
adventurous, giving, and friendly. I will ask them what type
of traits I am listing. I will make sure they understand that I
am listing personality traits.

I will introduce the book and begin reading.

TEACH Once we discussed that there are different types of traits
The teacher shows the students for a character and I gave them examples, I will point out
how writers accomplish the both a physical trait and personality trait of the main
teaching point in the mentor text character. For example, on the page with the boy and his
dad, I will tell them that physical traits they both have is
brown hair and brown eyes. I will then tell them that a
personality trait the dad had is being understanding.
ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT I will then ask the students to tell me another physical trait
After we teach something, students of a character. Then I will tell the students to tell me
are given a chance to practice what another personality trait of a character.
has just been taught with new I will ask them if they think the personality trait is
writing or revising a prior piece. considered a negative or a positive one.
(May assess during this time) After this, I will have the students go back to their seats
and tell them to write about all of the other physical and
personality traits they can think of for each character, and
why they think it. For instance, if they think a character is
mean, to give an example from the story to why that
character is mean.
After LINK I will have the students tell me new physical or personality
The teacher reiterates what has just traits they identified that we have not yet discussed. I will
been taught and gives students an encourage them to write about anything they can think of
opportunity to share (May assess and to look back in the story if they forgot.
during this time)


For students that are struggling coming up with traits, I will ask them what they remembered about the
characters in the story. I will refresh their memories, and have them compare the qualities of the
characters. I will allow them to go back into the book if needed.
For students who finish early, I will have them, share their writing with the class if they want to. I will then
also encourage them to write more.

The students might forget the physical qualities of the characters. I will allow them to go back and look in
the book if needed.

Observation Form

Student’s Names Observations of and understanding of identifying multiples

characters physical and personality traits.

Boone Good identification of physical traits for all characters. Could expand
on personality

Writing Scores:

Writing: 2 ½ (Developing/Meeting)

Vocabulary: 3 (Developing/Meeting)

Ella Good identification of personality traits and using examples from the
story. Confused about physical traits.

Writing Scores:

Writing: 2 ½ (Developing/Meeting)

Vocabulary: 2 (Developing)

Hailey Good identification of physical and personality traits and use of

examples from the story.

Writing Scores:

Writing: 3 (Meeting)

Vocabulary: 2 (Developing)
Harper Good identification of physical and personality traits for each
character. Could use more detail and explanation to why they’re “nice”
Writing Scores:

Writing: 3 (Meeting)

Vocabulary: 3 (Meeting)

Kelsea Good identification of physical traits for characters, can work on

identifying personality traits.

Writing Scores:

Writing: 3 (Meeting)

Vocabulary: 2 (Developing)

Character Trait Writing Rubric

8 points total 1 – Area of 2 – Developing 3 - Meeting 4 - Exceeding


Writing The writer only The writer only The writer gave The writer gave
wrote about one wrote one trait for examples of 3 examples of 3 or
-Both physical type of trait each physical and traits for each more traits for
and personality (physical or personality. physical and each physical and
columns personality) personality, for personality, for
each character each character
-Number of within their writing. within their writing,
words with supporting
details from the
Vocabulary The writer did not The writer could -The writer used The writer used
know how to start to list simple some vocabulary advanced
-Specific to voice describe or words that may that accurately vocabulary to
-Related to the express the describe a described the describe the
character they character traits. character. characters. characters.
were writing


When making a lesson plan draft, as teacher it’s always important to be open to changes. When I
made my mentor text lesson, I was told I would be introducing character traits to my students. Although
when it came time to teach, the students had already gone over character traits, but needed the topic
reviewed. I also planned an activity where they would simply write down physical and personality traits of
the three main characters, but my teacher wanted them to write about the story listing character traits,
instead. When the students were writing about the story, more than a few of them needed to look back in
the book to find physical traits of the characters. Due to this, instead of just allowing them to skim through
the book, I opened the book to a page with all three characters and pined it open on the board. This way,
all of the children in the class can see the physical traits of the characters instead of just one or two
students at a time.
One way I could incorporate developmentally appropriate practice in a better way if I were to teach
this lesson again would be having the students do a more hands on, engaging activity. For instance, I could
have them make a character book, where they draw the three main characters and make sure their
physical traits are represented, while writing their personality traits. I could also have them extend this by
making up their own characters to a story, where they get to make up physical and personality traits for
them. Another developmentally appropriate practice I would have them do if I could teach the lesson again
would be drawing, bringing in, or taking a picture of themselves where they could then write all of their
personality traits around it. I feel like this would be developmentally appropriate, as it would keep engaged
while expanding their learning on physical and personality traits of characters.
Based on the assessment I created, I can conclude that my students expanded their understanding
of the topic. I believe from writing about the different characters from the book, they learned what physical
traits were, while increasing their knowledge on finding personality traits. I know this because from the five
children I randomly chose to more closely observe, three of them met what was expected for them, while
two of them were in between developing and meeting expectations for their writing tasks. When it came to
their use of vocabulary, three of them were developing, using simple words to describe the characters,
while two of them were meeting expectations, using some vocabulary to describe the characters. Based on
the assessment data I collected in this lesson, if I was the classroom teacher I would help them expand
their vocabulary. Specifically, I will foster a conversational lesson where the students come up with different
words they can describe characters, both positively and negatively. Once we created a list as a class, I will
then have them search through the thesaurus looking for synonyms for the words.
From teaching this lesson, I have reinforced a lot of my thoughts on children as learners. For
instance, seeing how many students needed to go back into the book to complete their writing assignment,
I saw how students learn better by looking at visuals and observing instead of just listening and having to
try and remember. I also remembered how much children love read alouds. This was reinforced during this
lesson when every student was extremely quiet and listening with “their whole bodies” at me reading the
story to them. It was interesting because even though they knew the story already and knew what was
going to happen, they were as excited as they would be if it were their first time hearing it. It also reinforced
my idea that second graders are still developing their writing skills. One of the reasons my teacher wanted
my lesson to be a writing lesson was to give them practice writing. After evaluating the student work, I saw
that most students struggled making complete sentences and failed to tie their writing all together as one.
Overall, I learned that the students are still expanding their writing skills and continue to need assistance
with writing.
From teaching this lesson, I have learned new ideas and reinforced a lot of my ideas about
teaching. I have learned that using a mentor text is a great idea when trying to focus on a topic in literacy.
For instance, the kids weren’t anxious about me stopping throughout the story to focus on the characters
physical and personality traits because they’ve already heard the story before. It also allowed them to pay
attention to identifying the physical and personality traits of the characters in the story while I was reading
instead of paying attention to the story as a whole. From teaching this lesson I also remembered how
important it is to give clear instructions to the children about their tasks. For instance, it seemed that the
students were confused about writing about the story, explaining the physical and personality traits of each
character. Instead, a lot of them just listed the character traits or wrote them as back-to-back sentences
without and introduction, transitional sentences, or conclusion.
From teaching this lesson, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned that I need to work on
my read aloud skills. I have yet to develop a good consistent pace to my reading. From teaching this lesson
and comparing it to my other, more interactive lessons, I have also learned that I teach more interactive
lesson plans better. For instance, for this lesson I had to just wait for the students to write about the story,
and walk around making sure the students are actively writing. For my other more interactive lessons, I got
the students to relate to the topic, and brainstorm different ideas and opinions. I then had them do a hands
on activity where I had to walk around the classroom guiding students but letting them explore and work on
their own terms. I learned how much I loved teaching interactive lessons compared to teaching lessons
where they just fill in worksheets or wrote about a topic that was given to them.