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Lesson Plan by Cassie Bermel B. Ed.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings contemporary literature to life with comics and storyboards.

Make contemporary literature come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

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

  • Character Map
  • Mind Map
  • Storyboard
  • Comic Strip
  • Graphic Novel
  • Poster

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings contemporary literature to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on Life of Pi by Yann Martel
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings contemporary literature to life with comics and storyboards.

Main Characters

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

When you import any of the activities below, you can choose to share these ready-made characters with your students.

  • Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi)

    The protagonist and narrator (of most of the novel), who, as an adult, tells the story of surviving at sea

  • Richard Parker from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Richard Parker

    The Bengal tiger with whom Pi shares a lifeboat

  • The Author from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    The Author

    An unnamed narrator who explains how he met with Pi to tell his story

  • Francis Adirubasamy from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Francis Adirubasamy

    A man who tells the author stories of how he taught Pi how to swim

  • Ravi from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Ravi

    Pi’s younger brother, loves sports and is popular

  • Santosh Patel from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Santosh Patel

    Pi’s father, who owned the Pondicherry Zoo, teaching Pi to care for, respect, and fear wild animals

  • Gita Patel from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Gita Patel

    Pi’s mother, who does not follow any one religion, and questions Pi’s religious statements

  • Satish Kumar from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Satish Kumar

    Pi’s biology teacher, who inspires him to study zoology at college

  • Father Martin from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Father Martin

    A catholic priest who introduces Pi to Christianity

  • Satish Kumar from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Satish Kumar

    A muslim baker with the same name as his biology teacher. He inspires Pi to study religion at college

  • The Hindu Pandit from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    The Hindu Pandit

    Never given a name, he is angry when Pi decides to start practicing other religions

  • Meena Patel from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Meena Patel

    Pi’s wife

  • Nikhil (Nick) Patel from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Nikhil (Nick) Patel

    Pi’s son

  • Usha Patel from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Usha Patel

    Pi’s daughter, who is very close to Pi

  • The Hyena from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    The Hyena

    A violent animal who controls the lifeboat before Richard Parker appears

  • The Zebra from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    The Zebra

    A male zebra that breaks his leg jumping into the lifeboat

  • Orange Juice from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Orange Juice

    An orangutan that floats to the lifeboat on a raft of bananas

  • The Blind Frenchman from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    The Blind Frenchman

    Another castaway who meets Pi in the middle of the ocean

  • Tomohiro Okamoto from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Tomohiro Okamoto

    An official from the Japanese Ministry of Transport, who doubts Pi’s story

  • Atsuro Chiba from Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Atsuro Chiba

    Tomohiro’s assistant, who is more trusting of Pi’s story

Featured Props

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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

  • Banana
    Banana
  • Boat
    Boat
  • Cloud
    Cloud
  • Fish
    Fish
  • Mask
    Mask
  • River
    River
  • Spider
    Spider
  • Sun
    Sun
  • Teardrop
    Teardrop
  • Water
    Water
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Step 1Class discussion with students

Before your students read the novel Life of Pi, ask them to think about television shows and movies about survival, such as "Castaway," "Lost," or "Titanic." What was it that they liked about the characters in those movies?

Ask students where they got their own name from, or to share a story behind their naming.

An important quote from the story is: “I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.” Ask students to either agree or disagree with the statement, sitting on opposite sides of the classroom, and generate a discussion. Be sure to clarify that you are talking about religion in general, not a specific religion.

Ask your class, “How important is it that the person telling the story be accurate? Can anyone be 100% accurate when telling a story?”

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

    Begin at the start of the novel, and make additions as the unit progresses.

    View Activity
  • Make a Mind Map, Storyboard, or ...
    Imagery: “The Pacific Ocean”

    Sketch one of three important scenes/images from Chapters 32-42.

    View Activity
  • Make a Mind Map or Storyboard
    Major Themes

    Complete at the end of the novel.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Graphic Novel (Extension / Modification)

    Create a short Graphic Novel to represent the book in 25 panels (approximately 4 chapters per panel).

  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Poster advertising a new zoo in Canada with the animals being brought from India.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Which version of Pi’s story do you choose to believe in? Why?

In Chapter 93, Pi states, “The lower you are, the higher your mind will want to soar.” How does this explain his first account of the story?

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Life of Pi 1 Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Understanding characterization is an important skill that will help reinforce key attributes of the novel's characters, and help create connections with the plot and theme. The characteristics that make up the protagonist and other characters help shape the outcome of the narrative.

Instructions

Choose three of your favorite characters from Life of Pi and create a Character Map for each one. Make sure to include Pi among your selection.

  • It's important to add sufficient detail to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the character's attributes that are outlined in the novel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: 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
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Life of Pi 2 Imagery: “The Pacific Ocean”

Featured Layouts

  • Mind Map
  • Storyboard
  • Comic Strip
  • Graphic Novel

Intro

Translating words into images is an important skill to have, whether you physically draw the images or imagine them in your head. The more attention you pay to the words, the more detailed the image will be.

Instructions

Chapters 37-42 describe the sinking of the Tsimtsum. Create a comic using 1-5 panels, choosing one of the three scenes below to develop.

  • Be sure to read the chosen section of the book carefully, paying attention to details.

The scenes are:

  • The animals and crew on the Tsimtsum before the accident
  • The chaos during the sinking of the Tsimtsum
  • Orange Juice approaching the lifeboat


See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Imagery: “The Pacific Ocean”

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 image is focused, has thoughtful details and is insightful. The image is clear, well developed, and logical. The image is easy to follow; ideas are correct, but may be basic or simple. The image discusses some relevant ideas, but may have frequent errors. The image is hard to follow; ideas are not developed.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Form Organization and sequence (beginning, middle, end) • proper organization
• sequence is highly effective and has purpose
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• logical sequence
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• consistent attention to sequence
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some attention to sequence
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• no attention to sequence
• panels are missing
Conventions Complete sentences, spelling, punctuation, grammar (e.g.,
use of pronouns; agreement; verb tense
• correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation; may include some errors in complex structures • few errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors do not interfere with meaning • occasional errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors rarely interfere with meaning • several errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors may make parts hard to follow • repeated errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar often make the writing hard to understand
Total

Example Mind Map

Imagery in “Life of Pi” by Student

Here's the link to share this comic:

Student Handout

Share this comic with your students to demonstrate the activity without giving away the farm :)

Imagery in “Cinderella” by Pixton
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Pixton Activity: Life of Pi 3 Major Themes

Featured Layouts

  • Mind Map
  • Storyboard

Intro

Three major themes in Life of Pi are:

  • The will to live
  • The importance of storytelling
  • The nature of religious belief

Instructions

Choose two of the major themes and, for each one, depict at least two examples in a Mind Map or Storyboard:

  • Identify the chapter number in the panel title
  • Create an image that summarizes the scene
  • Formulate a brief description of how the example fits the theme

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Major Themes

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 theme is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and are highly detailed. The theme is well developed; examples are specific and provide ample support. The theme is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The theme is poorly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The theme is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
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
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• 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
Total

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