Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Design a Character

Janice Wilkins
Santa Rosa District Schools


Upon completion of the novel, [The Witch of Blackbird Pond], students write a character sketch about one of the two main characters, Kit or Hannah Tupper.


The student focuses on a central idea or topic (for example, excluding loosely related, extraneous, or repetitious information).

The student knows the reasons for a character's actions.


-Class copies of novel [The Witch of Blackbird Pond]
-Transparency with ideas on which to base character sketch (see Procedure steps 2 and 3)
-Transparency of Scoring Rubrics for Ideas and Conventions (


1. Complete reading of the novel.
2. Prepare transparency of criteria for character sketches as stated in Procedure #3.
3. Prepare transparency of scoring rubrics for ideas and conventions.


Background: Students complete the reading of the novel.
1. Students have discussed the characters of Kit and Hannah Tupper throughout the entire novel, reading and taking notes in their composition books.

2. Teacher discusses definition of a character sketch by having students think about the character's appearance and behavior. Students also reflect on what the other characters have said about this character. (Kit or Hannah.)

3. Using composition book notes and the novel, students choose either Kit or Hannah and write a character sketch on one character. Criteria for sketches are the following: students show the character in thought or conversation, explain the characterís thoughts, describe the characterís physical appearance, and tell how others respond to the character.

4. Teacher scores character sketches using the Six Traits of Writing, scoring rubrics for ideas and conventions. (See Website: )


The teacher assesses the students' writing using the rubric for scoring ideas and conventions. The rubrics are from Vicki Spandellís Six Traits of Writing and can be printed from the Website.


This activity could be used with any literary work. Students could illustrate the character according to their sketch.

Web Links

Web supplement for Design a Character
Six Traits of Writing

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.