Activity Overview

Identifying and keeping track of characters is important, especially when the names are unfamiliar and hard to remember. But sometimes, someone comes along who is exceedingly interesting, someone like Medea, whose motives and actions are difficult to decipher.

Have your students create a three-cell storyboard that looks very carefully at one character. The example below shows Medea, but most characters benefit from closer examination. Focus on what drives the character to action, and why they may behave in the manner that they do.

Medea Character Analysis

Medea is a fascinating, yet terrifying, character. She is the granddaughter of the Titan, Helios, and a servant of Hecate, the goddess of sorcery. She is also a talented user of magic herself.

After being shot with Eros' arrow, she gives up her city's treasure, leaves home, murders her brother, stares down the bronze giant Talos, and convinces Pelias' daughters that cutting up and boiling one's father is a good idea.

Such is the power of love. Medea makes great sacrifices for Jason's sake, doing all of these amazing and horrifying things, and he ends up leaving her for a political marriage. Shouldn't Jason have known NOT to cross her?

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard analyzing a character in detail.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Describe the character in one cell.
  3. Describe actions or characteristics displayed by the character in the story.
  4. Illustrate each example with appropriate scenes, characters, and items.

Lesson Plan Reference

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


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

Character Analysis Rubric
Analyze a character by explaining specific ways he or she demonstrates several important character traits throughout the story.
33 Points
25 Points
17 Points
Character Trait Analysis
Written explanation of the scene clearly and accurately explains the connection between the character's actions and his or her personality and character development.
Written explanation of the scene attempts to explain the scene's connection to the character's personality and development. Some explanations may be unclear.
Written explanation of the scenes fails to correctly explain the connection between the actions depicted and the character's personality and development.
Storyboard Scenes
Storyboard cells clearly show connection with the character trait, through depiction of a specific instance in the text.
Storyboard cells show some connection with the character trait, through depiction of the novel, but some storyboard cells are difficult to understand or fail to capture a specific event in the text.
Storyboard cells do not demonstrate the appropriate character traits or fail to include any specific textual references.
Effort and Editing
Work is complete, thorough, and neat. Spelling and grammar are correct.
Most of the sections of the storyboard were at least attempted and work is presentable. The text contains some errors in spelling and/or grammar.
Storyboard is unfinished and/or disorganized. The text contains many errors in spelling and/or grammar.

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