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 character mapping, 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 often even more beneficial. It also allows students to record the nuances of characteristics which create foil characters. The information that they record will help them to return and review personalities that contrast. The ability to visually see this helps students create connections and makes understanding concepts easier.
By clicking "Use This Assignment", both the example above and a blank template will be copied into your account. Feel free to use them as is, or to edit them for the level of your class. Printing it as worksheets, for your students to complete while reading, is a fast and easy way to incorporate this character map into your classroom.
(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.
Interpret details about the character from the text or other medium in which they are present to start. Pay close attention to the characters' descriptors, interactions with other characters, language, and actions. Since on the character map all these details are present on one page students will have easier access to information.
Encourage the students to read between the lines and find abstract or indirect connections between different characters and events. They can use different visuals and symbols to represent these abstract connections on the map.
Examine the character's desires and motives. Why do people behave in this manner? What are their motivations—both personal and external? Understanding these can help explain their decisions. Students can connect the goals of one character with another as it will help determine the nature of the relationship between characters.
Take into account how the character's characteristics, deeds, and connections relate to the story's broader themes and messages. Consider what the character's path in the story represents. Encourage the students to use a holistic approach when needed.
Encourage the students to add to the character map if they find any missing information or extra insights. A character map that already exists is a good place to start, and their own study can improve it. They can also create their own space to add their personal analysis and new insights they get after group discussions.
Absolutely. A figure that contrasts with another, frequently accentuating their differences, is known as a foil character. You may detect and contrast foils, such as the disparate traits of Brutus and Cassius, using the character map.
You may study the sad aspects of the play with the assistance of the character map. The students pinpoint the terrible weaknesses of figures like Brutus and Cassius, follow their decline, and investigate how their decisions have disastrous results. As all important information about the characters and their connections with other characters are displayed in one place, it would be easier to perform any complex analysis.
Students can better grasp character interactions, effects on one another, alliances, betrayals, and how these interactions advance the story by studying relationships on the map.