I hope that the little suggestions that some of us make will make easier for those of you just getting started to take a "step". It's overwhelming sometimes to think of doing something a bit differently that you have previously. Teaching the traits is truly easier than you think. Once you, yourself, know what they are, why they are important, and how to recognize them, you will naturally begin to talk/teach traits! It just becomes part of discussions, read alouds, and writing throughout the day. Kids begin to recognize the traits as they read and hopefully it transfers into their writing.
Here is an example. I wanted my students to use more figurative speech in their writing. I knew it would improve word choice and sentence fluency. I had to read many "anchor" texts to them and point out examples. We created a list of similies, onomotopia, and flashy vocubulary used by authors as we read for a week or two.
This past week, low and behold---even my most struggling reader and writer used onomotopia and the simile, "BAM!" and then, "He fell to the ground like a bag of rocks", in his writing !! I almost cried I was so happy. He GOT it.
I didn't spend two weeks going lesson by lesson. I didn't have detailed plans down to the minute. I just selected books that were rich in examples (Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr. Fox
) and read them. I read to the class anyway!!! I just stopped more frequently, kept a list of what we were looking for, and modeled.
Have fun. Don't be afraid. Learn the traits and start, "Talking Traits". You can do it!!