Personality Traits

Level: Advanced

Topic: General

Grammar Topic: General

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

 

© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

Personality Traits 

 
Pre-task:
 Questionnaire about birth order and personality traits 
 
Where do you come in your family? Do you believe that your birth order is related to 
your personality development? Please complete the questionnaire about your position 
in the family and say something about your personality traits. 
 
Name: 

Please tick your birth order: 

□ 

First-born Child 

□ 

Middle Child 

□ 

Only Child 

□ 

The youngest Child 

1. How many brothers 
and sisters do you 
have? 

Description: 

2. Please take a look at 
the personality traits in 
the right column and 
tick the traits that 
describe you. 

□ 

Dependable 

□ 

Well-organized 

□ 

Responsible 

□ 

Good self- control 

□ 

High achiever 

□ 

Cautious 

□ 

Spoilt 

□ 

Objective 

□ 

Demanding 

□ 

Conscientious  

□ 

Independent 

□ 

Self-confident 

□ 

Reliable 

□ 

High achiever 

□ 

Serious 

□ 

Supporter of law and 
order 

□ 

Humorous 

□ 

A perfectionist 

□ 

Patient 

□ 

Disorganized 

□ 

Introvert 

□ 

Dependent 

□ 

Diligent 

□ 

Irresponsible 

□ 

Spoilt 

□ 

Impatient 

□ 

Uncomplicated 

□ 

Outgoing 

□ 

Creative 

□ 

A negotiator 

□ 

Shy and quiet 

□ 

Calm  

□ 

Even-tempered 

□ 

Competitive 

□ 

Easygoing 

□ 

Friendly  

□ 

A peace-maker 

□ 

A people-pleaser 

□ 

A great listener 

□ 

Responsible 

□ 

Bossy 

□ 

Intimidating 

□ 

Competent 

□ 

Studious 

□ 

Extrovert 

□ 

Messy 

□ 

Amiable 

□ 

Picky 

3. Are there any other 
personality traits you 
have but cannot find 
on the list above? 
Please write them in 
the right column. 

 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

1

 

© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

Task 2: Questionnaire of your partner’s birth order and personality traits 
 
Do you want to know how your partner describes himself/herself? Please interview 
him/her and check his/her personality traits on the following chart by using the useful 
expressions or your own words. 
 
Useful expressions 
for interviewing 
people 

1.  Can you tell me what kind of person do you think 

you are? 

2.  Do you think you are…? 
3.  Can you describe yourself briefly? 
4.  Is there anyone saying you are…? 

 
Your partner’s personality traits: 
 
Your partner’s name: 

Please tick his/her birth order: 

□ 

First-born Child 

□ 

Middle Child 

□ 

The Only Child 

□ 

The youngest Child 

1. How many brothers 
and sisters does your 
partner have? 

Description: 

2. Please take a look at 
the personality traits in 
the right column and 
tick the traits that 
describe your partner. 

□ 

Dependable 

□ 

Well-organized 

□ 

Responsible 

□ 

Good self- control 

□ 

High achiever 

□ 

Cautious 

□ 

Spoilt 

□ 

Objective 

□ 

Demanding 

□ 

Conscientious  

□ 

Independent 

□ 

Self-confident 

□ 

Reliable 

□ 

High achiever 

□ 

Serious 

□ 

Supporter of law and 
order 

□ 

Humorous 

□ 

A perfectionist 

□ 

Patient 

□ 

Disorganized 

□ 

Introvert 

□ 

Dependent 

□ 

Diligent 

□ 

Irresponsible 

□ 

Spoilt 

□ 

Impatient 

□ 

Uncomplicated 

□ 

Outgoing 

□ 

Creative 

□ 

A negotiator 

□ 

Shy and quiet 

□ 

Calm  

□ 

Even-tempered 

□ 

Competitive 

□ 

Easygoing 

□ 

Friendly  

□ 

A peace-maker 

□ 

A people-pleaser 

□ 

A great listener 

□ 

Responsible 

□ 

Bossy 

□ 

Intimidating 

□ 

Competent 

□ 

Studious 

□ 

Extrovert 

□ 

Messy 

□ 

Amiable 

□ 

Picky 

 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

2

 

© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

Task 1: Taiwanese celebrities’ birth order and their personality traits 
 
According to the discussion with your partner, do you believe birth order influences 
personality development? Some people do, others don’t. Look at the Taiwanese 
celebrities below, then work with your partner and guess their birth orders according 
to the personality traits they have. 
1. 
Name: Jay Chou 

Personality Traits 

 
 
 

 

 

I am described as: 

•  dependable 

•  well-organized 

•  responsible 

•  independent 

•  high achiever 

•  demanding 

•  unforgiving 

•  sensitive 

 

Jay Chou is a pop singer. Chou's music 
mixes Western R&B and hip-hop with a 
distinctive Chinese flavour. "In order to 
be noticed in the West, Chinese culture is 
the starting point," he told Reuters in a 
recent interview. 

Please guess and tick my birth order. 

□ 

First-born Child 

□ 

Middle Child 

□ 

Only Child 

□ 

The youngest Child 

2.  
Name: Wang Yung-ching 

Personality Traits 

 
 
 
 

 

I am described as: 

•  responsible 

•  conscientious  

•  independent 

•  a high achiever 

•  natural leader 

•  well-organized 

•  reliable 

•  punctual 

•  bossy 

•  moody 

•  intimidating 

•  a perfectionist 

•  picky 

•  competent 

Mr. Wang Yung-ching is an influential 
entrepreneur with a large business empire 
in Taiwan.   

Please guess and tick my birth order. 

□ 

First-born Child 

□ 

Middle Child 

□ 

Only Child 

□ 

The youngest Child 

 
3. 

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Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

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© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

 
Name: Takeshi Kaneshiro 

Personality Traits 

 
 
 

 

I am described as: 

•  selfish 

•  disorganized 

•  irresponsible 

•  a risk-taker 

•  impatient 

•  uncomplicated 

•  inattentive 

•  unrealistic 

 

Takeshi, born and raised in Taiwan by a 
Taiwanese mother and Japanese father, 
plays the leading role in the kung-fu film 
Flying Daggers.   

Please guess and tick my birth order. 

□ 

First-born Child 

□ 

Middle Child 

□ 

Only Child 

□ 

The youngest Child 

 
4.  
 
Name: Ang Lee 

Personality Traits 

 
 
 

 

 

I am described as: 

•  a negotiator 

•  shy and quiet 

•  calm  

•  even-tempered 

•  indecisive 

•  friendly  

•  a peace maker 

•  a people-pleaser 

•  a great listener 

Ang Lee, Taiwanese film director, is a 
critically and commercially successful in 
the film industry. His first 
Hollywood-mainstream movie was Sense 
and Sensibility
 (1995); others are 
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and 
Hulk
.  

Please guess and tick my birth order. 

□ 

First-born Child 

□ 

Middle Child 

□ 

Only Child 

□ 

The youngest Child 

 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

4

 

© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

Reading 
 
In-task 
 
Task 4:
 Listen to teacher’s reading 
 
Are you ready to know how birth order influences your personality development? 
Before exploring the text, please listen to teacher reading the text for you first. 
 
Task 5: Skimming for general understanding 
 
Do you hear anything interesting or surprising in your teacher’s reading? Now check 
the text and see more interesting and surprising points. 
 

Birth order factor and your personality: 8 facts that might 
surprise you

1

 
 
Discover how your personality is influenced by your position in the family. Read this 
extract about the connection between birth order and personality and find out. 
 
Only Children 
 
Positives: Only children are the movers and shakers- task-orientated, highly 
organised, conscientious and reliable. They like concrete facts and details, and are 
comfortable with responsibility. 
 
Negatives: The negative characteristics of only children can be difficult to put up 
with. Often unforgiving, they can be demanding and unwilling to admit it when 
they're wrong. They generally don't accept criticism too well. Other people mqay 
think of them as sensitive and indeed, their feelings are easily hurt. 
 
First-borns 
 
Positives: Natural leaders, first-borns are often high achievers- many politicians, 
spokespersons and managing directors are first-borns. They frequently have a sense of 
entitlement and possibly superiority. Some are compliant nurturers/caregivers, while 
others are aggressive movers and shakers. They are both in control, but use different 
methods. Generally, first-borns are picky, precise people that pay heed to details, 
tending to be punctual, competent and organised. They want to see things done 
correctly first time around and dislike surprises. 
 
Negatives: They are frequently moody, and they occasionally lack sensitivity. They 
can be intimidating, especially by pushing people too hard or refusing to take no for 
an answer. They are sometimes a bit 'know-it-all' and are often poor at delegating – 

                                                 

1

 

Based on an article by Dr Kevin Leman 

http://www.ivillage.co.uk/relationships/famfri/family/articles/0,,163_559974,00.html

 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

5

 

© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

mainly because they don't trust others as much as themselves. They also tend to be 
bossy perfectionists and overly conscientious. 
 
Middle-Borns 
 
Positives: The classic middle child is very relational; a people-pleaser who usually 
dislikes confrontation. They basically need to keep life smooth, and their motto might 
be 'peace at any price'. They are usually very calm, will roll with the punches as 
amiable, down-to-earth people and great listeners. They are skilled at seeing both 
sides of a problem and keen to make everybody happy, making them good mediators 
and negotiators. 
 
 
Negatives: They tend to be less ambitious or driven than first-borns, but much more 
eager to be liked― or, at least, to be happy with other people. They can have a 
difficult time setting boundaries, so they can drift into 'co-dependence' by trying to 
please everyone. They are not good at making decisions which offend others and tend 
to blame themselves for the failures of others. 
 
Last-Borns 
 
Positives: Last-borns are the cheerleaders of the world. They have good social skills 
and love to entertain and talk to other people. They make friends readily, and quickly 
make others feel at home. They’re extrovert, energised by the presence of other 
people and probably not afraid of taking risks. 
 
Negatives: Last-borns often tend to get bored fast. They are fearful of rejection and 
have a short attention span. When the fun stops, they've had enough and want to 
check out. To some extent they're self-centred. They can harbour unrealistic 
expectations of finding a relationship that’s always fun, and, of course, such 
relationships simply do not last. 
 
How do you fit into the mix? Do you think your birth order has influenced your 
personality? 
 
 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

6

 

© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

Task 6: Reading comprehension 
 
Do you find more interesting bits after reading the text? Please share what you find in 
the text with your partner and discuss the questions below. You can work out answers 
by referring to the text you read while discussing. 
 

1.  Did you guess right in Task 3 according the reading? Based on the text you 

read, can you tell me who is first-, middle-, only-, and last-born? 

 

______________________________________________________________ 
 
______________________________________________________________ 

 
Image you are a kindergarten teacher working with a group of children named Nick, 
Jennifer, Alan, Martin and Melissa. Read the following questions and think who best 
fits the situation below, according to what you read in the text. 
 

2.  One day Jennifer dragged Melissa to the teachers’ office and asked teachers to 

discipline her? Would Jennifer be first-, only-, middle- or last-born? 

 
                       
______________________________________________________________ 
 

3.  Alan is a good helper, putting away scattered toys in the classroom. Would he 

be first-, only-, middle- or last-born? 

 
                         
______________________________________________________________ 
 

4.  Jennifer rarely comes back to class late after the break. Would she be first-, 

only-, middle- or last-born? 

 
           
______________________________________________________________ 
 
5.  Melissa rarely concentrates during story time and is not willing to share toys 

with other children. Would she be first-, only-, middle- or last-born? 

 

                       
______________________________________________________________ 
 

6.  Martin stands on the playground and does not know what he should do, slide 

or swing? Would he be first-, only-, middle- or last-born? 

 
                       
______________________________________________________________ 
 

7.  Nick is friendly, and other children like to play with him. Would he be first-, 

only-, middle- or last-born? 

 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

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© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

                       
______________________________________________________________ 
 
 
 
 
Task 7:
 Clarifying meanings and grouping 
 
After reading the text, you might notice personality traits can be positive, negative or 
neutral. Which traits do you think are positive, negative or neutral? Please discuss 
with your partner and tick (√)in the bracket for positive, cross (×) for negative and 
leave in the bracket blank for neutral. Use your dictionary if not sure about meanings 
of the words or expressions. 
 
(  )Dependable 
(  )Well-organized 
(  )Responsible 
(  )Well-behaved 
(  )Self-controlled 
(  )Cautious 
(  )Objective 
(  )Demanding 
(  )Conscientious 
(  )Subjective 
(  )Hard-working 
(  )Selfish 
(  )Extrovert 
(  )Simple 
(  )Complicated 

(  )Independent 
(  )Excellent in    
academic and 
professional 
achievements 
(  )Self-confident 
(  )Reliable 
(  )High achiever 
(  )Serious 
(  )Supporter of 
law and order 
(  )A perfectionist 
(  )Bossy 
(  )Competent 
(  ) Dependent 

(  )Irresponsible 
(  )Spoilt 
(  )Picky 
(  )Impatient 
(  )Outgoing  
(  ) Amiable 
(  )A negotiator 
(  )Diligent 
(  )Self-centred 
(  )Uncomplicated 
(  )Precise 
(  )Disorganized 
(  )Hot-tempered 
(  )An effective 
team player 
 

(  ) Patient  
(  )Shy and quiet 
(  )Calm 
(  )Competitive 
(  )Easygoing 
(  )Friendly  
(  )A peace-maker 
(  )A 
people-pleaser 
(  )Even-tempered 
(  )A great listener 
(  )Messy 
(  )Studious 
(  )Introvert 
(  )Humorous 
(  ) Intimidating 

 
Task 8: Grouping-synonym and antonym   
 
In the text, do you find words for personality traits description contradictory while 
others have similar meanings? Synonyms are words or expressions with same or 
similar meanings, antonyms mean opposite. Please work in pairs and categorize 
words or expressions above as synonyms or antonyms. An example is provided. 
 
Example: 
 
Synonym  

1.  Selfish 
2.  Self-centred 

Antonym 

1.  Introvert 
2.  Extrovert 

 
 
Synonym 
 
 

Antonym 
 
 

Synonym 
 
 

Antonym 
 
 

 
 

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- all rights reserved. 

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© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

Synonym 
 
 

Antonym 
 
 

Synonym 
 
 

Antonym 
 
 

 
 
Synonym 
 
 

Antonym 
 
 

Synonym 
 
 

Antonym 
 
 

 
Task 9: Share in words/expressions grouping work 
 
Listen to other groups’ grouping work and compare theirs to yours. If you find any 
different answers between groups, please write them down. 
 
Synonym 
 
 
Antonym 
 
 
Synonym 
 
 
Antonym 
 
 

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Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

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© 2005 UsingEnglish.com

 

Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

10

Task 10: Learners’ note 
 
Do you learn new words from the texts you read? Do your peers teach you any new 
words?    Do you know how to group negative, positive, and neutral personality traits? 
Are you happy with the synonym and antonym grouping activity? How will you put the 
new words and categorized personality traits in your vocabulary notebook and 
reorganize your vocabulary notebook? You can choose to follow the vocabulary 
notebook model below or else organize yours in your own way. 
 
 
New Words 

Definition 

Sample sentences 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post-task 

Task 11: Lexical-Grammar discovery 
 
Do you notice that the phrase tend to’ appears in the text many times? Can you read the 
text again and circle ‘tend to’ in the text when reading. Observe how it is used and 
discuss the following questions in class. 
 

1.  What does ‘tend to’ mean in the text? For instance, only-borns are 

task-orientated; tend to be extremely well organised, highly conscientious and 
dependable. Does it mean most only-borns are likely to be organized? Or does it 
mean the opposite? 

 

      _____________________________________________ 

 
_____________________________________________ 

 

 

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Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

11

2.  According to how ‘tend to’ is used in the text, please work out and formulate the 

usages of ‘tend to’? When formulating the usages of ‘tend to’, please give 
examples in the text to support your formulation. 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 

 

3.  According to your observation and formulation above, please make four 

sentences by using ‘tend to’? 

 

_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 

      _____________________________________________ 

 

Task 12: How about your student 
     
Now do you believe that birth order affects people’s personality traits? When you work 
at the kindergarten as a trainee, do you find birth order influences your students’ 
behaviours? Now choose one child in your group at the kindergarten to discuss with 
your partner (about his/her personality) by using the words or expressions learned in the 
previous tasks. Please complete the personality chart below. 
 
Your student’s name: 

Personality Traits 

 

He/She is described as: 

 

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Copyright © 2005 

Hui Yen Yu

- all rights reserved. 

12

 

•  _______________  
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 
•  _______________ 

 

Please stick your student’s photo in the 
column above. 

Please guess and tick his/her birth order. 

□ 

First-born Child 

□ 

Middle Child 

□ 

Only Child 

□ 

The youngest Child 

 

Task 13Describe your student   
After discussing your students with your partner, please use the finished personality 
chart and structure tend to’ in Task 11, plus words and expressions in previous tasks, 
to write a short paragraph to describe your student. 

 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________ 
 
_____________________________________________