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.
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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.
Begin the lesson by discussing the concept of character evolution in literature. Explain that characters are not static; they change and develop over the course of a story. Use examples from other works of literature to illustrate character evolution. Introduce Macbeth as the primary focus and explain that students will be creating character maps to track how he and other characters change.
Provide students with character mapping templates. These templates can include sections for character names, traits, motivations, and relationships. Read a section of Macbeth as a class, and instruct students to complete the character mapping template for a specific character (e.g., Macbeth himself) based on what they've learned from the reading. Encourage students to think about how the character's traits and motivations evolve as the story progresses.
Break the class into small groups and have each group focus on a different character (e.g., Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Banquo). Instruct each group to share their character maps and discuss how the character evolves throughout the play. Encourage them to use evidence from the text to support their analysis. Facilitate a class discussion where groups share their findings, and create a visual chart or diagram on the whiteboard to show how the characters' evolution is interconnected.
Assign students to choose a character from Macbeth (it could be the same one as before or a different character) and create an individual character map. Students should consider the character's traits, motivations, and relationships at different points in the play. Conclude the lesson with a class presentation where students share their individual character maps and discuss what they've learned about character evolution in Macbeth.
Macbeth's character undergoes a dramatic transformation in the play. At the outset, he is a valiant and honorable Scottish general, admired for his courage. However, as he encounters the witches' prophecies and becomes consumed by ambition, he descends into a spiral of treachery and violence. Macbeth's character evolves from a noble hero to a paranoid and guilt-ridden tyrant, ultimately meeting his tragic end as a result of his unchecked ambition.
Lady Macbeth's primary motivation is her own ambition and desire for power, both for herself and her husband. She is relentless in her pursuit of the crown and is willing to go to great lengths to achieve it. However, as the play progresses, Lady Macbeth's character evolves from a strong and determined figure into one plagued by guilt and madness. The weight of the crimes she and Macbeth commit takes a toll on her mental and emotional state, leading to her eventual suicide. Her character illustrates the moral consequences of their actions and the corrosive nature of ambition.
Macbeth's character undergoes a profound transformation in the play. At the start, he is a noble and valiant general, but as he becomes obsessed with ambition and the pursuit of power, he descends into treachery and tyranny. Macbeth's character evolves from an honorable hero to a paranoid and guilt-ridden tyrant, ultimately leading to his tragic demise due to his unchecked ambition.
Worksheets can be designed to encourage students to explore the characters' actions, motivations, and the consequences of their choices in relation to themes. Activities such as character analysis, character interaction charts, and ethical dilemmas allow students to delve into the characters' roles in conveying broader themes like power, ambition, and morality.