Activity Overview

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. With character mapping, it’s easy for students to follow along and catch the subtleties which make reading more enjoyable!

Clicking "Use This Assignment" will copy both the example above and a blank template into your account. Feel free to use it as is, or to edit it 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.

Character List

Willy Loman A traveling salesman from New York, though the audience never learns what it is that he sells. He is the major protagonist and tragic hero. His inability to obtain his ideal of the American Dream and to be successful leads to his death.
Linda Willy's wife is a stay at home mother who raised their two sons. She becomes worried about Willy as he gets older and seems to be losing his mind. She asks her now grown boys to come visit and talk to their father.
Happy Willy and Linda’s seemingly forgotten, or at least ignored, son. He follows in his father's footsteps, venturing into the business world. He is in his 30s and has not settled down yet. Instead, he is frequently seen with a call girl.
Biff The prodigal son that Willy had high ambitions for. Often in the play, Willy is seen interacting with Biff and instilling in him that it is more important to be well liked than industrious or smart. Biff moves away to work as a ranch hand in the west. He repents his ways after his father's death and vows to live a meaningful life.
Charley Charley is Willy's neighbor who was a smart businessman and became wealthy through hard work. His son, Bernard, is seen in flashbacks stressing about passing math and being studious; he later grew up to be a lawyer. When Willy is down and out, Charley offers him a job, but prideful Willy refuses.
Ben Ben is Willy's brother who, by happenstance, found riches in the jungle of Africa. Ben represents Willy's beliefs that it is luck and charm that make a man wealthy and not hard work.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.

  1. Identify the major characters in Death of a Salesman and type their names into the different title boxes.
  2. Choose a character to represent each of the literary characters.
    • Select colors and a pose appropriate to story and character traits.
  3. Choose a scene or background that makes sense for the character.
  4. Fill in the Textables for Traits, Major Quotes, Failure or Success.
  5. Save often!

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Character Map

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/6] Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Character Map Template
Create a character map of the characters in the story. Put the character's name in the title boxes and choose a character and scene to represent each one. As you read, take notes on the characters by answering the questions.
33 Points
25 Points
17 Points
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.

More Storyboard That Activities

Death of a Salesman

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