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Lesson Plan by Mitchell Zuvela B. Sc., B. Ed.

Character Maps

Pixton Lesson Plan on Character Maps

Make the elements of a story come to life with comics!

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Featured Layout

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout type.

  • Character Map

Featured Props

Character Maps

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Arrow
  • Banner
  • Circle
  • Flower
  • Gradient
  • Line
  • Line
  • Lines
  • Painting
  • Sparkle
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Character Maps

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

To fully understand the evolution of a character over the course of a story, and what motivates the character, it's useful to construct a Character Map or Character Sketch.

In a Character Map you describe in detail the important aspects of the character, such as their:

  • physical appearance
  • personality traits
  • personal relationships
  • background information

It's essential that the author of a story use a wide range of descriptive vocabulary to help portray a vivid picture of the character. Certain traits will not always be explained by the author, so the reader must analyze the actions and dialogue of the character over the course of the narrative and come to their own conclusions.

A Character Map can be used in two ways:

  • To better understand the attributes, relationships, and motivations of a specific character. Students should make contributions to a Character Map before, during, and after reading a novel or narrative.
  • As a planning tool before writing so that the author can clearly develop a plot that is consistent with the attributes of the story’s characters. This also helps the reader feel connected to the characters and storyline.

Opening Discussion

Draw a 2 × 2 grid of boxes on the classroom whiteboard, each with space for a title and description. Title the boxes according to the four aspects of a character, above. Choose a character from a novel or play you are currently reading. Or, choose a person relevant to your class such as a teacher, principal, athlete, or celebrity.

With the help of your students, develop a Character Map for the chosen person by adding details to the four sections. Encourage your students to use dynamic and descriptive language to assist in the development of the character. For example, if your class deems a certain character as a “good leader”, encourage your students to use descriptive verbs such as “charismatic” or “charming”.

Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Character Map
    Make a Character Map

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Discuss (Extension / Modification)

    Students will find a partner to review the descriptive language in their Character Maps. Partners will provide feedback about the words they thought were effective and words that could be improved.

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Pixton Activity: Character Maps 1 Make a Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map


Create a Character Map for one or two of your family members.

  • You can choose your:
    • mother / father
    • sister / brother
    • aunt / uncle
    • grandma / grandpa
    • cousin
    • pet
  • Indicate your character's name in the title, and include an illustration and detailed accounts of their characteristics.
  • Be sure to use descriptive language to fully capture your character's persona.

See the rubric below for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Make a Character Map

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is thoughtful; descriptions are detailed and informative. The character map is fully developed; accurate details and insightful descriptions. The character map is complete; descriptions are simple and settings are accurate. The character map includes basic details, but is not fully developed. The character map does not accurately reflect the characters.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• characters vaguely looks like description
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics

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