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Activity Overview

Character maps are a helpful tool for students to use as they're reading, although they can also be used after completing a book. In this activity, students will create a character map of the characters in Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, paying close attention to the physical attributes and the traits of both major and minor characters. Students can also provide detailed information regarding the challenges the character faces, the challenges the character imposes, and the importance of the character to the plot of the story.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a character map for the major characters in Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky.

Student Instructions:

  1. Choose a Storyboard That character to represent each of the book characters. Note: be sure to select colors and a pose appropriate to story and character traits.
  2. Fill in Textables for "Physical/Character Traits", "How does this character change throughout the novel?", and "Challenges Faced / Challenges Posed"

Lesson Plan Reference

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(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 Analyze Famous Folktale Characters Present in Tristan Strong


Talk About Folktales and Fables

Begin the discussion by touching on the topics of folktales and fables. Explain the difference between folktales and fables to students and their significance in literature. Address the meaning of different folktales and fables and the types of lessons they try to impart. Teachers can also discuss some famous folktales and fables that students are already familiar with.


Discuss Themes and Central Message

Ask the students to identify different themes present in the story and the central message of the story that the author is trying to convey. Students can then reflect on how these themes and messages can be connected with the presence of folktale characters such as Anansi the Spider in the story.


Relate With Hero’s Journey

Help the students identify and discuss the different stages and elements of a hero’s journey. Explain how such characters play a major role in these types of narratives and try to impart an important lesson to the readers with the help of characters. Ask the students to use this perspective and analyze the significance of such characters in the hero’s journey.


Analyze Allegory and Symbols

Examine the ways in which the characters are portraying any form of symbolism. Talk about the ways in which characters could portray more general societal or cultural concepts and ideals. Teach the students to recognize the characters' allegorical elements and relate them to universal themes or real-world problems.


Encourage Discussions on Diverse Cultures

Encourage the students to analyze various characters and initiate a conversation about the value of diversity representation in literature. Examine the ways in which "Tristan Strong" integrates characters from different origins and involves myths and stories from a distinct culture.

Frequently Asked Questions About “Tristan Strong” Characters

Who are the key characters present in the story?

Tristan Strong himself is one of the primary characters present in the narrative. Supporting characters like Gum Baby, John Henry, and Anansi, who each have crucial roles to play in the progression of the plot and Tristan's quest, could also be considered important players in the story.

Are there any mythological or folkloric figures as important characters in the story?

Yes, certain characters in the story are influenced by myths African-American myths, or folklore. A rich tapestry of characters with a foundation in cultural storytelling is created by the author through the blending of conventional aspects with distinctive traits. Characters such as “Anansi the Spider” play an important role in this regard.

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