Activity Overview

While students are reading, it is often helpful to use a storyboard that creates a character reference log. A character map allows students to recall relevant information on characters. When reading a play, it is often little attributes that later return and become an important detail in the plot.

Copying the assignment will give you the example above as well as a blank template to customize as desired. Feel free to use it as is, or tailor it to student abilities! The simplest way to use this character map is to print it out and use it as worksheets for your students to complete while reading!

The Crucible Characters

Abigail WilliamsThe major antagonist. She is the niece of Reverend Parris and coerces the girls of Salem to lie about seeing members of the community consorting with the Devil. She was once a servant in the Proctor's home, but was dismissed after an affair with John Proctor.
Reverend ParrisThe minister of Salem, MA. He is a father, uncle, and the servant to the Lord. He is often paranoid about his reputation and, at times, power-hungry. His reputation throughout the town is not high. The people of Salem believe he has priorities out of order since he cares more for golden candlesticks than for his parish.
John ProctorA hardworking man in his early 40s who is level-headed and wise. He stands up for what he believes and knows from the beginning: that Abigail is lying and using manipulation to get what she wants.
Reverend HaleReverend Hale is an expert in witchcraft. This is ironic because there were no real witches in Salem. In the end he begins to see through the hysteria and attempts to undo the damage he's caused.
Elizabeth (Goody Proctor)Elizabeth is a good Christian, wife, and mother. She is married to John Proctor and because of this, is accused of witchcraft by Abigail.
The NursesTwo highly regarded members of Salem, who are accused of witchcraft by the Putnams. It is clear that their jealous enemies have something to gain.
Judge DanforthHe is the deputy governor of Massachusetts and the judge who oversees the witch trials. He is overzealous and believes he is a crusader against witchcraft. This clouds his judgment.
TitubaParris' black slave from Barbados who was the only one practicing any form of 'sorcery' by using voodoo magic.

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 The Crucible 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 Traits, Reputation, and Accuser or Accused.

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 Conduct Research on the Historical Context of The Salem Witch Trials


Choose Authentic Sources

Stress the value of citing reliable, academic sources. Promote the use of scholarly publications, peer-reviewed papers, and trustworthy websites from reputable organizations (such as historical societies, museums, and universities). Encourage the students to perform research using primary sources and get help from an expert if available.


Analyze Culture and Society

Encourage the students to learn more about the culture and society of that time period as these are the driving forces behind any significant historical event. Students can analyze the prejudices people of that time held, their common grounds, and shared beliefs.


Discuss Significant Figures

Recommend the students to analyze the background of the important historical figures who were involved in these trials. Guide the discussion using questions like were these people involved directly or indirectly? What sort of impact did these people have during the trials?


Discuss Association With Pop Culture

After these significant historical events, many artists did and still currently base their work on The Salem Witch Trials. Students can also explore and analyze these works to understand the perspectives of different people.


Promote Critical Thinking

Encourage the students to evaluate and combine the data they have gathered. Ask students to reflect on the effects of the historical setting on the Salem Witch Trials events and its relevance to the present. Students can also write a critical analysis with the help of accurate data and present their own perspectives.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mapping Characters in The Crucible

Who are the main characters in the story?

John Proctor, Abigail Williams, Reverend Parris, Elizabeth Proctor, and Deputy Governor Danforth are among the main characters. Students can reflect on the lives, traits, backgrounds, and motivations of these characters to make a comprehensive analysis of the story.

Which character connections in "The Crucible" are the most significant?

The Proctor marriage, the interplay between John Proctor and Abigail Williams, and the power conflicts between figures like Danforth and Parris are all significant relationships. Some other relationships like Abigail being the niece of Reverend Parris also play an important role in the story. Students can show these character relationships on the character maps using different colors and symbols.

What changes does John Proctor undergo as the play progresses?

In the beginning, John Proctor is a troubled and imperfect guy who is divided between his ambitions and his sense of morality. In the terrible conclusion that follows his evolution, he eventually respects his moral ideals. Students can analyze his character growth and the impact of different themes on his development.

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