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 as well as a blank template for you to customize as desired. You may want students to start from scratch, or provide them with the questions and characters! 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.

Silas Marner Characters

Silas MarnerThe main protagonist, he is expelled from the Town of Lantern Yard after being falsely accused of theft. He moves to Raveloe and starts a new life where his only friends are the faces of the gold coins he hoards from his job as a weaver. He lives as a reclusive hermit and has no friends, until one day Dunstan Cass steals his money and the town rallies around Silas. After the second largest tragedy in his life, he soon adopts a small child, whom he names Eppie.
Godfrey CassSon of the wealthy Squire Cass and oldest brother in the Cass family. He is blackmailed by his younger brother and has a secret marriage to Molly Farren (a drug addict). However, he is in love with Nancy Lammeter.
Dunstan CassThe middle child of the Cass family. Dunsty, as he is called, is a conniving, gambling, blackmailer who swindles and lies his way through life. He steals Silas’s money and is later found dead.
Squire CassThe richest man in Raveloe, known for having lavish house parties.
MollyGodfrey’s secret wife, whom he hides in a nearby town. She has a child who is neglected, mostly because of Molly’s addiction to opium.
Nancy LammeterA well-to-do lady in the town of Raveloe who marries Godfrey after Molly’s death. She is unable to have children.
Dolly WinthropA hardworking woman in Raveloe who eventually becomes Silas’ best friend and godmother to Eppie.
Aaron WinthropDolly’s son and Eppie’s future husband. He works as a gardener for the Cass family.
SarahSilas’ fiancée in Lantern Yard.
William DaneSilas' best friend in Lantern Yard, who frames Silas for theft and steals Sarah from him.

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 character map for the major characters.

  1. Identify the major characters in Silas Marner and type their names into the different title boxes.
  2. Choose a character from the "1600s to 1800s" tab 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 text boxes for Physical Description, Characteristics, and Major Events.

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
  • [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.

How To Teach Character Mapping To Students With Special Needs


Explain the Purpose

Begin by explaining the meaning and purpose of character mapping. Tell the students the objectives of this activity and what the teachers aim to achieve from this activity. Knowing the purpose will help them better understand the activity and impact their willingness to perform the activity positively.


Give Simple Examples

It can be hard for students to understand abstract concepts without any visual examples. Teachers can show some simple examples of character maps and explain every step in detail. Teachers can use visuals and show students illustrations of characters and animated videos to help them understand.


Breakdown the Steps

Break down the activity into small and simple steps to help students understand what they need to do but at the same time provide them with the freedom to carry out the activity on their own terms. Encourage them to ask questions and clear all confusions. For instance, start with one character and tell the students to write down the character traits, motives, and physical characteristics of that character and then move on to the next character.


Be Flexible With the Pace

Be accommodating with the learning rate. While some students might require more time to fully understand character principles, others might advance very rapidly. Teachers can provide assurance and support to less efficient students.


Give Personalized Assistance

Adapt your teaching style to the unique requirements and skills of each student. Some students could profit from individualized assistance or extra help.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mapping Characters in Silas Marner

What character traits are mainly the part of Silas Marner’s character?

Silas Marner is initially a secretive and resentful person. He is first socially secluded and concerned with material prosperity. He is also known as a miser who has devoted himself to money because of all the betrayals and mishaps he had faced in his life. As the story develops, he develops into a loving and content father figure as a result of his connection with Eppie.

What role does Godfrey Cass have in the narrative?

Due to the fact that he is Eppie's biological father, Godfrey Cass is a significant figure. The premise of the book mostly relies on his covert marriage to Molly Farren and his personal moral conflicts. He is also the person who abandoned his previous wife and daughter because he was ashamed. Godfrey later wanted to get Eppie back as he had no other children from his marriage to Molly.

How may character analysis be used to examine the relationships in "Silas Marner"?

Students may follow the relationships between characters graphically by using character maps. It demonstrates, for instance, how Silas and Eppie's relationship develops and how different villages interact. They can also use visual elements to depict these relationships and events.

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