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There are a number of different types of graphic organizers that can be used for character analysis, though a few in particular are quite common. Perhaps one of the most often used is the character map or web, which allows someone to easily visualize the various aspects and descriptors of a character. A compare/contrast visualization can also be used, especially when dealing with two characters important to a story. In some situations, Venn diagrams may be effective graphic organizers for character analysis, though this depends on the nature of the story and the characters involved in it.
Someone looking for graphic organizers for character analysis should consider using a character map or web. This type of graphic organizer is quite easy to create, and can consist of nothing more than the name of a character written in the middle of a blank sheet of paper. From this central point, different descriptions and aspects of the character can be written around the name of the character, usually using bubbles to isolate each aspect and connecting these bubbles to the middle with lines. This creates a web of descriptions, from which this particular visualization takes its name.
Easier character analysis can be done in a similar way, using a simplified map or web. Rather than adding freely to the map, several large circles or boxes are drawn around the center point and connected to it with lines. These can then be labeled with ideas like “Description” or “Actions” to indicate what aspects of the character analysis should be written in them. Such graphic organizers for character analysis are quite easy to use, and may be preferable for younger students just beginning to learn about characterization.
Other popular types of graphic organizers for character analysis include compare/contrast visualizations. These are typically created by someone making several boxes on a sheet of paper, often with two small boxes at the top, one large one below that, and two below that about half the size each of the larger box. The top two boxes have the names of two characters written in them, the large box is then used to write ways they are similar, and the two smaller boxes below are used to write ways in which they are different. This can be used to easily compare the actions or descriptions of two characters.
A Venn diagram can also be used to easily see the differences between two characters in a story. This is created by someone drawing two, or more, large circles on a sheet of paper and having them overlap somewhat in the middle. Each circle is then used to represent a different character in the story. Aspects or descriptions of the characters that are unique are written in the parts of the circles that do not overlap, while shared traits are written in the overlapping area. This type of diagram is a great visualization for a story that contains two characters that are similar in some ways, but whose differences establish the conflict in the story.
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