Activity Types: Character Webs

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What is a Character Web?

In general, a web is a visual map that shows how different categories of information relate to each other. A character web identifies the traits of a central character helping to understand a character's actions and motivation. When reading a complex story, a character web can show how the character develops as the story proceeds. Webs provide a structure for ideas and facts that help students learn to organize and prioritize information.

Advantages for use in the classroom:

  • Individual or small group activity

  • Display concepts and the relationships between them in a visible, structured format

  • For complex characters, students can create a web after reading the first chapter of a story, save it and re-diagram after each chapter unfolds reflecting their new understanding of how the character has developed. Character webs are easy to create with Inspiration using built-in templates.

Other webbing techniques:

  • Literary webs help students analyze stories or novels so that they more fully understand the literary elements at play, as well as the composition of the story.

  • Comparison webs are one of the most basic and powerful forms of analysis in any discipline. Students may compare and contrast the characteristics of one group or situation with another helping students better understand the groups being studied, as well as making connections between them.

  • Prewriting webs are used by students for brainstorming and organizing before writing a story.

Examples: (be sure to look at all examples)

Copyright 2002-2011 Handy4Class Project


Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)


Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction
jburson@mail.utexas.edu