Activity Overview

The characters of Tom and Edward are doppelgängers. Their many similarities throw their drastically different situations into stark relief. Have students use storyboards to compare and contrast the two boys. By identifying their similarities and differences, students will enter deeper into character analysis. Start with a three-column T-chart and have students choose categories to compare. These may include education, appearance, home, personality, family, or others. For each category, students should find a similarity to depict in the center column and individual differences to depict in the outside columns. The storyboard above provides an example.

Example The Prince and the Pauper Compare and Contrast

Tom CantyBoth BoysEdward VI
Tom lives in Offal Court, a dilapidated section of London filled with poverty and crime.Both boys live in or near London, England.Edward lives in luxury in Westminster Palace.
Tom receives informal lessons from an old priest who lives in Offal Court. Tom has limited access to books, but learns to read English and a little Latin.Both boys are intelligent and enjoy learning. They use their education to make wise and fair decisions.Edward is taught many subjects, including Latin, Greek, and French. He has several tutors and takes his lessons in the comfortable rooms of the palace.
Tom owns only a single, ragged outfit that he wears at all times.Aside from their clothes, the boys look nearly identical. They are doppelgängers of the same age, height, and coloring. No one can tell them apart.Edward wears regal robes of costly fabrics. He has many different suits of clothing for various occasions and is carefully dressed each morning in an elaborate ceremony.
Tom is meek and dreamy. He gets through his days as a pauper by dreaming about royalty and accepting beatings from his father and grandmother without complaint. In the castle, he shows eager obedience to the prince and is at first very timid in the castle.Both boys are kind-hearted and merciful. They make similar decisions as king, trying to enact justice and end cruelty.Due to his royal upbringing, Edward is confident and commanding. Even when confronted by dangerous men who are bigger and stronger than he is, he refuses to obey their commands.

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 comparing and contrasting the doppelgängers in The Prince and the Pauper.

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher.
  2. Add more rows.
  3. In the middle column, identify the things that are similar between the two characters.
  4. In the right most column, describe the things that makes one character unique.
  5. In the left most column, describe the things that makes the other character unique.
  6. Illustrate each example with appropriate characters, scenes, and items.
  7. Click "Save & Exit" when done.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/3] Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/3] Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot)
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/3] Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision


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

Compare and Contrast
Create a storyboard that compares the similarities and differences between two things.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Comparison Analysis
Text and images include a clear explanation of similarities and/or differences between the categories or topics. These comparisons go beyond superficial elements and show strong understanding.
Text and images include an explanation of similarities and/or differences between the categories or topics, but the explanation may lack clarity or show only superficial understanding in some squares.
Text and images may include no explanation of similarities and/or differences, or they may make only superficial or inaccurate comparisons.
Storyboard Image and Effort
Student clearly shows effort to convey the setting, characters and specific scene of the book. The scene is clearly identifiable based on the graphic depiction.
Student attempts to convey the setting, characters, and specific scene through use of graphics, but the depiction may be confusing, disordered, or lack some detail.
Student does not clearly convey the setting, characters, and scene.
Spelling and Grammar
Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
Student makes one or two minor errors in spelling and grammar.
Student makes multiple errors in spelling and grammar.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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