As students read, a storyboard can serve as a helpful character reference log. This log (also called a character map) allows students to recall relevant information about important characters. When reading a play, small attributes and details frequently become important as the plot progresses. With a character map, students will record this information, helping them follow along and catch the subtleties which make reading more enjoyable!
Using a character map for Shakespeare is even more beneficial. It also allows students to record nuances of characters and identify dramatic foils. The ability to visually see contrasts helps students with understanding, and assists in reviewing. It also makes it easier for students to keep track of the myriad of characters that appear in the play.
Copying the assignment will provide you with both the example above and a blank character map template to customize as you wish. Printing it as a worksheet for your students to complete while reading is a fast and easy way to incorporate this character map into your classroom.
It is important to focus on each of the character's particular love interests and motivations. When Puck creates a love triangle, it further confuses the already complicated situation. Look at the character map below, and take notice of the particular pairings.
View of Love:
Quote about Dreams:
"If you were offended, think of this play as a dream... "
What conflict does this character cause?
Mischief, thy name is Puck! He causes Titania to fall in love with Bottom, and both Lysander and Demetrius to fall in love with Helena.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a character map for the major characters.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
Character Picture & Scene
The characters and scenes are both appropriate for the book's characters.
Many of the characters and scenes match the book's characters.
More than half of the characters and scenes do not match the characters in the book.
Accuracy of Notes
Most of the information of the notes is correct.
Many of the notes have correct information, but some are incorrect or missing.
Less than half of the information of the notes is correct and relevant.
Work is complete, thorough, and neat.
Most of the sections of the character map were at least attempted and work is presentable.
Character map is unfinished and/or disorganized.
In a full class discussion, ensure that students understand characterization. Anything a character says or does contributes to characterization, or what others say about them. Understanding characters will help students understand the deeper meaning of the story.
In order to keep characters straight, helping students to build a graphic organizer is a great idea. Students can use quotes from the characters, a simple drawing of each, and other distinguishing characteristics to differentiate characters.
Once the students create a graphic organizer and can understand each character, this will help them to understand the play as a whole and the deeper meanings.
In a Shakespearian play, one of the difficulties for students is the sheer number of characters. Using a character map helps students keep everyone straight. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, there are four different storylines to follow, so a character map will be invaluable.
Conflicts and characters are intricately linked. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, the characters are actively causing conflicts for other characters in the play, and there are many Person vs. Person conflicts. Keeping track of all of this can be tricky.
A dramatic foil is a character who is working directly against another character. They try to get in the way of the character's progress and cause trouble. A Midsummer Night's Dream has many dramatic foils.