LAFS.3.RL.1.3

Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 3
Strand: Reading Standards for Literature
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Date Adopted or Revised: 12/10
Date of Last Rating: 02/14
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: TM , EBSR , ST item(s)

  • Assessment Limits :
    Items may ask the student to use explicit and implicit details from the text to describe a character and how the character’s actions affect the events in the text. The items may require the student to draw inferences from the text.
  • Text Types :
    The items assessing this standard may be used with one or more grade-appropriate literary texts. Texts may vary in complexity.
  • Response Mechanisms :
    The Enhanced Item Descriptions section on page 3 provides a list of Response Mechanisms that may be used to assess this standard (excluding the Editing Task Choice item type). The Sample Response Mechanisms may include, but are not limited to, the examples below.
  • Task Demand and Sample Response Mechanisms :

    Task Demand

    Describe a character’s traits, motivations, or feelings in a text, and explain how the character’s actions affect the sequence of events. 

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    EBSR
    • Requires the student to select the correct descriptions about a character’s traits, motivations, or feelings and then to select how the character’s actions affect the sequence of events. 
    Selectable Text
    • Requires the student to select the correct description about the character’s traits, motivations, or feelings and then to select how these characteristics affect the sequence of events. 
    Table Match
    • Requires the student to complete a table by matching characters with character descriptions and/or effects of characters’ actions upon the sequence of events.

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
5010010: English for Speakers of Other Languages-Elementary (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
5010020: Basic Skills in Reading-K-2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
5010030: Functional Basic Skills in Communications-Elementary (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
5010044: Language Arts - Grade Three (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7710014: Access Language Arts - Grade 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
5011030: Library Skills/Information Literacy Grade 3 (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
LAFS.3.RL.1.AP.3a: Describe a character’s traits in a story using details from the text and illustrations.
LAFS.3.RL.1.AP.3b: Explain how characters' actions contribute to the sequence of events/plot.
LAFS.3.RL.1.AP.3c: Explain a character’s motivation in a story using the character’s thoughts, words and actions as evidence from the text.
LAFS.3.RL.1.AP.3d: Explain a character’s feelings in a story using the character’s thoughts, words and actions as evidence from the text.
LAFS.3.RL.1.AP.3e: Describe how a character changed in a story (e.g., different words, thoughts, feelings, actions).
LAFS.3.RL.1.AP.3f: Analyze how a character’s point of view influences a conflict within a text.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Assessments

State Interim Assessment for Third Grade - The Hourglass:

This is the State Interim Assessment for the third grade.

Type: Assessment

State Interim Assessment for Third Grade - Landing on the Moon & A Poem to the Moon:

This is a State Interim Assessment for the third grade.

Type: Assessment

State Interim Assessment for Third Grade - Inventors Welcome:

This is a State Interim Assessment for third grade.

Type: Assessment

State Interim Assessment for Third Grade - Pretzel the Super Snake:

This is a State Interim Assessment for third grade.

Type: Assessment

State Interim Assessment for Third Grade - The School Picnic and The School Quilt:

This is the State Interim Assessment for third grade.

Type: Assessment

State Interim Assessment for Third Grade - Who's a True Friend:

This is a State Interim Assessment for third grade.

Type: Assessment

State Interim Assessment for Third Grade - The Three Billy Goats Gruff:

This is the State Interim Assessment for third grade.

Type: Assessment

State Interim Assessment for Third Grade - Play Ball:

This is a State Interim Assessment for third grade.

Type: Assessment

State Interim Assessment for Third Grade - Champions:

This is a State Interim Assessment for third grade.

Type: Assessment

Formative Assessment

Tina's Trouble:

Students will read the text “Into the Darkness” and complete a graphic organizer to describe a character in the text, organizer. Students will identify the actions of the characters that indicate his or her character traits. Students will then explain how the actions of the character contribute to the sequence of events in the text.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

Sosu's Call:

This lesson helps children understand how they can be affected by the way others view them. The story is about Sosu, an African boy with a disability. The villagers didn't think he could do anything. Sosu used a drum to call for help and save the older people and children who were trapped by a storm. This lesson plan addresses the following literacy skills: asking and answering questions about key details and unknown words in a text, referring explicitly to the text for the answers; describing characters' traits, feelings, and motivations and how their actions contribute to the events in a story; and writing an opinion piece in response to a text-based question.

Type: Lesson Plan

Escaping Slavery: Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt:

In this web resource from ReadWriteThink.org, a website developed by the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, with support from the Verizon Foundation, students will learn about the Underground Railroad and "walk in the shoes" of an escaping slave. Using the picture book Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, students will create a "Problems/Solutions/Events Chart" to help them understand the relationship between Clara's problems and how she solves them. Similar to Clara's map that shows the path north to freedom, students will create their own map, designing a key, a compass, and landmarks surrounding their home and school.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading: Determining the Lesson in Tops & Bottoms:

In this close reading lesson, students will read Tops & Bottoms, adapted by Janet Stevens, focusing on the lessons that the characters learn as a result of their actions throughout the text. It includes an interactive read aloud to provide support for students and provides opportunities for verbal and written response to the text as students work with partners and independently. The lesson culminates with a written response as evidence of student mastery. Teacher talk is included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Charlotte's Web: Chapter 1:

In this close reading lesson, students will analyze vocabulary, story elements, and characters' responses to events using Chapter 1 of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. Students will respond to the text by writing an opinion or narrative composition.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading of A River of Words:

In this close reading lesson, students will work with the teacher and in cooperative groups to read and comprehend A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant. Through multiple close readings, the students will determine the meaning of words using context clues, sequence the events, analyze the main character, and use illustrations to understand a text. Students will then write to retell William Carlos Williams' story, explaining how he changed as a result of the events in his life.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading with The Tale of Despereaux:

In this close reading of Kate DiCamillo's story The Tale of Despereaux students will meet a variety of charming, and not so charming, characters. Students will identify and analyze the characters' feelings, actions, and motivations to determine the traits of each character and form an opinion about them. The first read of this story has students annotating the text and incorporates guided instruction. The following reads will be cooperative and independent practice with opportunities for teacher feedback. At the end of the lesson, students will make a judgment about one of the characters and support their opinion using text evidence.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading of The Raft by Jim LaMarche:

In this lesson, students will engage in reading The Raft by Jim LaMarche. Through several close readings and discussions, students will analyze and synthesize how key details and characters' actions and motivations help to determine the author's central message. The lesson begins with a strong "hook" that will also bring closure to the reading and reinforce the students' understanding of the central idea.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading for The Real Princess, a Fairy Tale:

This lesson will engage students in high-level discussions that involve conceptual understanding. This short text, "The Real Princess," originally told by Hans Christian Anderson, will require students to think deeply, make inferences based on text evidence and defend their understandings through discussion and close reads. Students will use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words and phrases. Students will participate in a Socratic Seminar which will evaluate their conceptual understanding of morals and inferences. Students will engage in student to student discourse and partner work throughout the lesson. For the summative assessment, students will write an opinion piece to convey their understand of the concepts presented in the text and image.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Close Reading of The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco:

In this close reading of Patricia Polacco's story The Junkyard Wonders, students will identify and analyze characters' problems, feelings, actions, and motivations to determine the essential message, or lesson, the author wants readers to learn. The first read of this story has students annotating the text and incorporates guided instruction. The following reads will include guided and independent practice with opportunities for teacher feedback. At the end of the lesson, students will demonstrate their ability to recount the story and their ability to uncover the essential message.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading of Lewis and Clark and Me:

This lesson provides an in-depth look at a literary text that links reading to social studies, Lewis and Clark and Me. At the completion of this lesson, students will have read about specific events from the Lewis and Clark expedition as told from Lewis' dog's point of view. They will analyze story elements and the characters in the text. Students will be able to create a chapter for the book that models the story structure used by the author.

Type: Lesson Plan

Character Traits: A Close Reading of The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg:

In this close reading lesson, students will delve deep into the text, The Sweetest Fig, by Chris Van Allsburg. Students will practice reading comprehension, vocabulary, and identifying character traits. They will determine the traits of a character based off of the character's actions and language. Students will also gain practice responding to text-based questions both orally and in writing, providing evidence from the text to support their claims.

Type: Lesson Plan

Character Traits: A Close Reading of Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg:

In this close reading lesson, students will delve deep into the text Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg. They will determine the traits of a character based upon the character's actions and language, especially examining character change over the course of the text. Students will learn to identify how a character's traits and actions impact the sequence of events in the text. Students will also gain practice at responding to text-based questions both orally and in writing, providing evidence from the text to support their claims.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Close Reading of The Lion and the Mouse:

In this close reading lesson, the students will listen to the teacher read aloud Aesop's fable "The Lion and the Mouse." The students will collaborate with the teacher and their peers throughout the close reading in order to determine the central message or lesson of the fable, analyze the text for meanings of select vocabulary, compare and analyze the characters, identify cause and effect in character development, and recount story elements.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading of the Text Exemplar 14 Cows for America:

This lesson follows the close reading model using the book 14 Cows for America. This story is a recount of the events on September 11 told through the eyes of a young man to his village in Kenya. Through several close readings of the text, the students will describe characters and how their actions contribute to the story, and explain how the illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in the text. A series of text dependent questions are provided along with independent practice on character traits and text evidence. Also included is a culminating writing task along with a rubric for scoring.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Ballad of Mulan: A Close Reading Activity:

In this lesson, students will read and reread a classic Chinese folktale, The Ballad of Mulan. They will ask and answer text-dependent questions and will recount the events in the story using a story map. Students will determine the central message of the story and analyze Mulan's actions, thoughts, and feelings and how they contribute to the sequence of events and, ultimately, the moral of the story.

Type: Lesson Plan

Analyzing Character Conflict Caused by the Plot:

In this lesson, students will identify and describe how the problem in a story causes conflict between the characters. The teacher modeling phase features the story Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges, and the guided practice features The Story of Noodles by Ying Chang Compestine. In the independent practice, students may pick a story of their own. Graphic organizers are provided.

Type: Lesson Plan

Memories, A Connection to the Past:

Students will read four literary texts and use graphic organizers to help them organize their knowledge. These graphic organizers address a number of areas including sequencing, main idea, characters, and setting.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Monster of a Helper:

Using a retelling of an Egyptian folktale in the book The Monster Who Grew Small by Joan Grant, students will discover how helpers can provide encouragement, encouragement that they can use to try to overcome "monsters" of obstacles in their way. Students should have read this story prior to this lesson. In this lesson, students will participate in several rounds of shared inquiry discussion to help them practice engaging effectively in collaborative discussions as well as answering questions provided by a speaker. On a retelling graphic organizer and in questions students will answer in writing and during the shared inquiry discussions, students will use evidence from the text to support their responses.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: "Because of Winn-Dixie":

The goal of this one day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they've been practicing on a regular basis to absorb deep lessons from Kate DiCamillo's story. By reading and rereading the passage closely and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will identify how and why the three main characters became friends.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading of Fairy Tales/Folk Tales:

In this lesson, students will first work with the teacher and their classmates to practice the close reading of "The Burning of the Rice Fields." Through separate close readings of this story, students will practice reading and analyzing the text to identify story elements, will use context clues to determine the meaning of selected vocabulary, will analyze characters in the story and their actions and motivations, and finally, students will determine the lesson or moral of the story. For independent practice, students will conduct the same kind of close reading for the story "The Cat and the Parrot." Throughout the lesson, students will also practice creating questions about a text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Identifying Mood in Children's Literature:

Students will determine the mood of a text, based on a read aloud , Giraffes Can't Dance , written by Gildes Andreae. This will be accomplished by referring to the illustrations, analysis of characters and through cooperative discussions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Terrific Traits:

Learn to describe characters’ feelings, traits, and motivations. You will also learn how to identify and explain how characters’ actions contribute to the events in a story. 

 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Student Center Activities

Comprehension: Character Connections:

In this FCRR Student Center Activity, students will identify similarities and differences between characters. As an extension activity, students will compare the perspectives of two characters. Graphic organizers are provided for character analysis and comparisons.

Type: Student Center Activity

Comprehension: Character Consideration:

In this FCRR Student Center Activity, students will describe characters using a graphic organizer.

Type: Student Center Activity

Comprehension: Check-A-Trait:

In this FCRR Student Center Activity, students will identify similarities and differences between characters' traits (as determined by actions, thoughts, and feelings).

Type: Student Center Activity

Comprehension: Compare-A-Character:

In this FCRR Student Center Activity, students will identify similarities and differences between characters and will record their findings on a graphic organizer.

Type: Student Center Activity

Comprehension: Story Pieces:

In this FCRR Student Center Activity, students will answer questions related to story elements (characters, setting, plot, theme) and record their answers on a graphic organizer.

Type: Student Center Activity

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Inferring How and Why Characters Change:

Because so many stories contain lessons that the main character learns and grows from, it is important for students to not only recognize these transformations but also understand how the story's events affected the characters. This lesson uses a think-aloud procedure to model how to infer character traits and recognize a character's growth across a text. Students also consider the underlying reasons of why the character changed, supporting their ideas and inferences with evidence from the text.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Original Student Tutorials for Language Arts - Grades K-5

Terrific Traits:

Learn to describe characters’ feelings, traits, and motivations. You will also learn how to identify and explain how characters’ actions contribute to the events in a story. 

 

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Terrific Traits:

Learn to describe characters’ feelings, traits, and motivations. You will also learn how to identify and explain how characters’ actions contribute to the events in a story. 

 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.