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 novel, 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!
Teachers may wish for students to collaborate on this activity which is possible with Storyboard That's Real Time Collaboration feature! This can help cut down on the time it takes to complete the entire storyboard while also helping students to develop communication, self-management and leadership skills. Teachers can enable collaboration for the assignment and students can either choose their partner(s) or have one chosen for them. It is suggested that since the Character Map Storyboard is 16 cells, it is best if completed by students in groups of 2, 4 or 8.
It’s a great idea to create a copy of this generic character map and edit it with the specific questions about characters you want your students to answer.
|Stanley||Protagonist, heavy, has few friends|
|Clyde Livingston||Owner of shoes that were stolen|
|Derrick Dunne||Bully that picks on Stanley at school|
|Zero||Hector Zeroni, smallest of camp members, digs holes fastest|
|X-Ray||Leader of boys, black, wears glasses|
|Armpit||Befriends Stanley, named for his smell|
|Magnet||Named for his ability to steal anything<|
|ZigZag||Boy at Camp Green Lake|
|Squid||Boy at Camp Green Lake|
|Warden||Female descendant of the Walker family, ruthless and cruel|
|Mr. Sir||Camp counselor|
|Mr. Pendanski||Counselor at Camp Green Lake. The kids, call him "Doctor", but he is not a doctor|
|Stanley I||Stanley's great-grandfather, robbed by Kissing Kate|
|Kissing Kate Barlow||Former school teacher turned outlaw|
|Sam||Black, onion seller, medicine man|
|Charles Walker||Son of a rich landowner on Green Lake|
|Elya Yelnats||Stanley's great-great grandfather|
|Madame Zeroni||Romani woman who curses the Yelnats family|
(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.
Use a character map to help students keep track of a lot of characters. Explaining the importance of the character on the map, or a quote that is important, is going to help the students keep track of many people.
Often, students will use a mnemonic device when trying to keep characters straight in a story. Thinking of a fun word that starts with the same letter as the character and making a silly sentence can definitely help students keep track of who is who.
Drawing a picture of the character, or a symbol that represents the character, is a great way to get a long list of characters situated. By using the sense of touch, you will be able to more easily differentiate between the characters.
Stanley Yelnats IV is the protagonist in Holes. This means that he moves the story along. He is heavy set, has few friends, and got in trouble and sent to a boys' detention camp.
With a large list of characters, it is a good idea to take notes on them as you read, or to use mnemonic devices to help you remember them. Drawing a picture can also help.
Characters are more important when they appear more in the story, and are more closely related to the main character. In Holes, there are three different story lines to keep track of, and the characters vary in importance.