The Things They Carried Characters

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Character Map for The Things They Carried

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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. When reading a novel, 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!

Use a character map to help track the different characters that are discussed in The Things They Carried.

Kiowa

  • Physical Traits: 19 or 20 years old; Native American; devout Baptist; carries an illustrated New Testament and his grandfather’s hunting hatchet; keeps moccasins for silence

  • Character Traits: Practices his heritage; practices his faith; likes to be in churches; tries to comfort O’Brien after he kills a man; a good person; moral; upstanding

  • Quote

    “And Kiowa had been a splendid human being, the very best, intelligent and gentle and quiet-spoken.Very brave, too. And decent.”


Other characters included in this map are: Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, Tim O’Brien, Rat Kiley, Norman Bowker, and Ted Lavender.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.


  1. Identify the major characters in The Things They Carried and type their names into the different title boxes.
  2. Choose a character from the "1900s" 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 Textables for Physical Traits, Character Traits, and a Quote.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.
Character Map Template Blank

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