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Introduction to personality profiles


This is a lesson to introduce profile basics including content, differing types and the final assignment of a 500-700 word profile. Students will read two profiles and compare their subject and content matter. They will then begin the initial steps of their personality profile (determining a subject and making contact).


  • Students will be able to explain, orally or in writing, that profiles can differ in content and angle and elaborate on that with examples.
  • Students will be able to explain, orally or in writing, that profiles need a framework (and are not just a summary of a person’s life) and provide examples.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1a Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1b Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1c Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3 Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.5 Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).


50 minutes


Two profiles from the supplementary materials

Lesson step-by-step

1. Connection — 15 minutes
Distribute copies of one of the profiles from the supplementary materials. Discuss the aspects of this piece that make it a personality profile (interviews with others, talking about an individual, giving background on the subject, etc.).

Ask students what a personality profile does and why we write them (helps readers get in touch with other human beings, inspires people, touches their hearts, paints a picture with words, etc.)

2. Investigation — 15 minutes

Distribute copies of the second profile from the supplementary materials. Teacher should read it aloud as students follow along, marking passages that stand out to them.

3. Discussion — 10 minutes

Discuss what stood out, why it did, how it affected the story and how the second piece differed from the first. Both are profiles but are vastly different in approach to telling the story. How are they different? How are they the same? Is there a “right” way to write a profile? (No. Just different ways.)

4. Extension/evaluation — 10 minutes

Introduce the homework of writing a personality profile. Use students who are involved in other activities as examples. Jordan is a cheerleader, in the musical and in yearbook. How can these aspects of her life help as a device to tell the story? Maybe her story is written in kind of an interrupted style with each activity interrupting the next. Rachel runs track and cross country. How could that help us design a story? It might be her beginning with stretches and warm-ups and then running the race and crossing the finish line. Katy plays soccer. Maybe her story could be a series of passes and a goal.

Find a framework that works to tell the story. Use something in the person’s life to help frame the story. Get many others to fill in the gaps. Be interested in finding out cool stuff about the person. If you are bored writing it, then think how bored your reader will be. Find a good story to tell, not just a story to tell.

Have students select a person in the class to interview. It’s easier than going outside the class to do this because at least in the class, people understand it’s an assignment, not a joke, and they will be available for all the activities of interviewing. They need to do initial interview stuff (i.e. name spelling, schedules, cell phone numbers) and start to feel out what they can use as a frame for the final story, which will be 500-700 words long.