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!

For To Kill a Mockingbird, a character map helps students remember the characters, and their interactions with Scout, Jem and Atticus. Many of the characters in the novel are dynamic, changing over the course of the book.

Copying this assignment will add both the example above and a blank template to your account for you to customize as desired. It can be helpful to edit it with specific questions about characters you want your students to answer. Tailoring this map with a guided note style helps students with recall and comprehension.

Major To Kill a Mockingbird Characters

Atticus FinchFather, and prominent lawyer
Scout (Jean Louise Finch)Main protagonist
Jem FinchBrother of Scout
Tom RobinsonBlack defendant on trial
Boo (Arthur Radley)Reclusive neighbor
Bob EwellAccuses Tom of rape, tries to hurt Scout and Jem
Dill (Charles Baker Haris)Nephew of Mrs. Rachel. A friend of Scout and Jem
CalpurniaThe Finches' cook
Miss Maudie AtkinsonNeighbor and friend to the Finches
Aunt AlexandraAtticus's sister
Mayella EwellBob's daughter. The woman Tom was accused of raping
Mrs. Henry Lafayette DuboseTownsmen lives in mulatto community
Mr. Walter Cunningham Sr.Townsmen, racist
Walter Cunningham Jr.School boy who bullies Scout

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 To Kill a Mockingbird 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 the text boxes for Physical Appearance, Traits, Relatives, and Friends.

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/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/10] By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently


(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 the Character Mapping Activity


Introduce Activity

Introduce character mapping to students and how they can use this activity to understand the storyline and characters better. Teachers can briefly discuss all the elements that can be included in the character map.


Give Examples

Give the students an example by helping them analyze a character map of any famous character. This character can be from a book or a movie and it should be famous enough for students to recognize. If students are already aware of the character, the analysis will become easier for them.


Distribute Graphic Organizers

Hand out graphic organizers made especially for character mapping to your students. They could be templates, tables, or diagrams that serve as a roadmap for organizing character information.


Group Discussion

Teachers can divide the class into smaller groups and then each group can select their preferred character to make the character map. It is also up to the group to decide what elements they want to put on the map besides the basic ones.


Present Work in Class

After each group is done with their work, they can present their findings in front of the whole class. Especially, groups who chose same characters can compare and contrast different perspectives.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mapping Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird

What makes character mapping in "To Kill a Mockingbird" so crucial?

Understanding the personalities, motivations, relationships, and character development of the characters is made easier for readers through character mapping. It gives a visual picture of how various characters affect the themes and overall plot of the story. It can also help the readers form a deeper connection with the characters and relate their experiences with themselves.

Which characters in "To Kill a Mockingbird" should I concentrate on when mapping?

Pay close attention to important characters that have a big role in the story, like Scout Finch, Atticus Finch, Jem Finch, Boo Radley, Calpurnia, Tom Robinson, Mayella Ewell, and others. It is important to keep your focus on the primary characters because the behavior of other characters is also influenced by them.

What typical mistakes should you steer clear of while characterizing "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

Be careful not to oversimplify characters or to use only physical descriptions. Make sure your map captures the complexity and development of the characters throughout the book. Students should especially focus on the character growth and the impact of certain obstacles and events on some of the characters.

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