Identify and Compare Traits


The lesson Identify and Compare Traits introduces students to the concept of physical traits. Students will be able to recognize differences in people traits, such as hair color or dimples. They will be able to explain why people have different traits. They will also learn how to identify and compare the traits of animals.

You have a lot of room for creativity with this lesson. You can introduce traits of your own for students to identify and compare. Or you can have students interview 100 people to determine how common certain traits are. Review the “Options for Lesson” section for more ideas.

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What our Identify and Compare Traits lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Identify and Compare Traits teaches students how to identify specific physical traits in humans. Students will discover why people have unique traits and be able to compare their own with those of their classmates. They will also compare traits in humans the traits that other animals have. This lesson is for students in 2nd grade and 3rd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. In addition the handouts, you will need to provide colored pencils and construction paper.

Options for Lesson

The “Options for Lesson” section lists many suggestions for additional activities or exercises or alternative ways to approach parts of the lesson. One idea is to assign one trait to each students. They will then survey 100 people to determine how prevalent that trait is. Another option is to invite a doctor or other specialist to speak to the class and present information to supplement the lesson. You could also provide students with additional information on animal traits and have students compare humans and animals. Students could create a self portrait that displays some of their common physical traits. Regarding the activity worksheet, students could work in pairs or groups rather than alone, and you could include more traits of which they can draw pictures.

Teacher Notes

The paragraph on this page provides a little extra information as you prepare the lesson. It states that the focus of this lesson is to explain differences in physical traits and only briefly discusses heredity. It suggests that you teach the lesson in conjunction with others that relate to heredity. You can use the lines on this page to write ideas and thoughts you have before presenting the lesson to the class.


The content pages provide a detailed explanation of what traits are why they differ. A student may wonder, for example, why they have brown hair while their siblings have black hair. While they may recognize different physical traits, they may not understand the concept. The objective of this lesson is for students to define, identify, and compare physical traits.

The lesson presents traits like right-handedness, eye color, dimples, and hair color. It also points out how some traits are less or more common than others. Only about 2% of people in the world have red hair, for instance. And about 90% of people use their right hand, not the left, for most activities.

While describing human traits is important, the lesson also compares the physical traits of animals. The Human Traits page explains several unique traits, such as freckles, hand clasping, and tongue rolling. Students will begin to see just how many different traits there are.


The Identify and Compare Traits lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one helps reinforce students’ grasp of the content. You can refer to the guidelines on the classroom procedure page that outline when to hand out each worksheet to the students throughout the lesson.


The activity will require students to illustrate the physical traits they learned about. For example, they will have to draw a hairline showing a widow’s peak. They will also have to draw a person with either curly or straight hair. This will be a fun way to demonstrate their understanding of what various traits look like.


The practice worksheet will work a little differently. Instead of drawing pictures, students will fill in the blanks with the correct word. They will have to match a word to the definition they learned for a specific trait. Next, students will answer questions based on the content they learned throughout the lesson.


The homework assignment asks students to interview others (such as parents or friends) at home. They will write five different people’s names in a chart. They will ask each person to do certain things to determine if they have those traits. For instance, they will ask each person if they can roll their tongue. Afterward, the students will mark 10 statements either true or false.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The last two pages of the PDF are answer keys for the practice and homework worksheets. The correct answers are in red to make it easy to compare them to students’ responses. For the most part, students’ answers should exactly reflect those on these pages. However, the nature of the second half of the practice worksheet and the first half of the homework assignment will warrant some variation. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


2nd Grade, 3rd Grade



State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.9, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.9

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.