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Activity Overview

Characters drive the action in any story. Have students identify the characters of "The Story of an Hour" and use the description box to explain the character's role in a spider map. Have students choose an appropriate scene and any props that are important to that character. Students create a short bio for characters in the story, paying close attention to the feelings and actions of the characters. Students can also provide detailed information regarding the characters' actions, how they influence other characters, and how the main character changed over time.

Bently Mallard

Bently Mallard, the husband of Mrs. Louise Mallard, is reported to be the victim of a "railroad disaster." After Mrs. Mallard has realized she is happy he is dead, he walks in the door, shocking everyone (especially his wife) with the fact he's alive.

Mrs. Louise Mallard

Louise Mallard is physically ill, but her heart is not the only problem she has. When she thinks her husband is dead, she realizes that it makes her extremely happy to think about living life without him.

Josephine and Richards

Louise's sister, Josephine, and Mr. Bently Mallard's friend, Richards, are trying to gently support Mrs. Mallard while telling her about her husband's purported demise. They think she will be devastated by the news and worry about her heart condition.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Character Map

Common Core Standards
  • [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/8/3] 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

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", 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 Story of an Hour" 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 descriptions of each character. Pay close attention to feelings, actions, and influence on other characters.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.


(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.

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