Lesson: Mapping Character Relationships

9 Favorites

Lesson Objective

Who are the important characters in Persepolis? What relationships do they have to each other? How can we document these relationships?

Lesson Plan

Lesson Name: Mapping Character Relationships                        Course: High School Language Arts by Anke al-Bataineh

Students will identify characters and their relationships with each other

Students will use textual evidence to support their conclusions

Essential Questions:            (write on board)
Who are the important characters in Persepolis?

What relationships do they have to each other?

How can we document these relationships?

The Little Black Fish and Other Modern Persian Stories http://www.amazon.com/Little-Modern-Persian-Stories-Continents/dp/089410621X/ref=sr_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289569634&sr=1-14   (New & Used copies are very inexpensive)

Character Relationships Map (copies + projection)


Anticipatory Set:         (15 mins) Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Verbal
Ask a student who is comfortable to be the model for a character relationships web. Ask them to name a few relatives, friends, teachers, employers, etc. with whom they interact in their life. Ask them to describe a few attributes of each person, how/if they know each other, and how they feel about each other.

Input:         (10 mins) Auditory, Visual
Ask students why this process might be important when reading a novel. Push for a deeper answer than just ‘it helps keep track of the character,’ like ‘the author might not say important elements of the story directly.’ Establish the procedures of character, attributes, relationships. Point out the use of evidence as necessary to establish underlying relationships. Discuss the idea that institutions, places or political movements could be ‘characters’ in a story. You might add the school or a state/country to the model web you made for the student.

Guided Practice:         (30 min) Logical, Visual, Interpersonal
Introduce the short stories in “The Little Black Fish.” You may choose one story for the whole class, distribute several, or even give students choices. Ask them to read the stories and create Character Relationship Webs. I have students do this in pairs because they enjoy discussing the children’s stories.


Emphasize that students need to pinpoint textual evidence for the relationships they identify.


If students have access to a computer, you may spend more time and ask them to create their own maps on Microsoft Word. Circulate and discuss with students their accuracy and level of detail.

Independent Work:         (flexible)  Logical, Visual, Interpersonal
Assign students to create a Character Relationships Map for Persepolis. You may want them to do this independently, in pairs, in groups, as they read or all at once. If you have the case of students reading at many different speeds, you might pair up slow and fast readers to discuss what they know with each other.

Conclusion/Assessment:         (5 min) Auditory, Interpersonal

Ask 2-3 students to share relationships they identified and evidence for them. Tell students this tool will reoccur in other units. Establish a due date if this is an ongoing assignment.





Vocab to Watch Out For:




Lesson Reflection:


What went well?

What would you change?

What needs explanation?

Students were able to make excellent maps of the short stories and really enjoyed them! They even had elements of history that helped elucidate elements of Persepolis.

Rather than giving everyone the same story and having some of them complain that these are “baby stories,” you need to hype it up as fun and simple. Giving the choice helps.

The Map is just a model. I think it’s best if students ultimately create their own, either by hand or on Microsoft Word.



Lesson Resources

Mapping Character Relationships   Lesson Plan
Character Map  
Character Map  


Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload