ESL Personality Traits Lesson Plan

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

This lesson plan provides teachers with both individual and group exercises designed to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) learners how to discuss and describe personality traits.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Identify and use appropriate English vocabulary related to personality traits
  • Discuss and describe both their personalities and the personalities of others
  • Analyze personality differences and draw conclusions based on those differences


30 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.


Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Key Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Personality traits/characteristics
    • Funny, smart, kind, friendly, mean, helpful, creative, nosy, etc.
  • He/she is _____.
  • I am _____.
  • I like/don't like _____.


For the group activity, all students should have access to the same literary work such as a novel or short story.


Tell Me Something I Don't Know

  • Instruct each student to write down at least five personality questions he or she could ask a classmate. Possible questions include:
    • How would you describe your personality?
    • What annoys you about other people?
    • What aspect of your personality would you like to change?
    • How do you think other people view you?
    • Are people born with a personality?
  • After the questions are written, pair students and have them take turns answering and asking questions of each other. Students should be noting the answers.
  • When the interview process is over, have students return to their seats and write a short paragraph that describes their classmate's personality using the information they collected during the interview.
  • Collect the personality descriptions and review.

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