Sometimes when we are reading a book aloud during Morning Time, we illustrate a Character Diagram (I’ve also heard it called a Character Map) with faces, names and relationships of the characters as we encounter them. We use a small white board dedicated to the diagram for the duration of our reading that book. When we have finished, we take a photo of the faces we have come to know and love (or hate!) and erase that board in preparation for the next book.
Recently, as part of my Schole Sisters’ 5X5 Reading Challenge, I was reading Tom Jones by Henry Fielding. I soon realized that it would be helpful to make a Character Diagram for myself so I proceeded to draw faces and names on the back of the flimsy library receipt that was serving as my bookmark. When I finished the (711-page-but-who-is-counting) book, I had become a bit attached to my little bookmark Character Diagram–if not to most of the characters, but that’s another story–and I thought that it would have made a nice addition to my commonplacing efforts if it had been a bit sturdier.
I am also reading The Laws Guide to Nature Journaling by John Muir Laws as part of my 5X5 Reading Challenge. I found that I wanted to record brief notes from each section to carry with me outside to prompt myself. Again, I found myself making notes on the bookmark.
I decided to be intentional about my bookmark when I picked up my next book, Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. I would not just grab whatever receipt was handy! And, although this is a re-read for me, I so enjoyed drawing little characters from Tom Jones that I thought it would be fun to create a Character Diagram for A Tale of Two Cities.
So…I made a bookmark template that will serve both my Character Diagram and note-taking needs. I ran the bookmarks off on card stock and I have been enthusiastically using them! Feel free to grab the template below for your own Character Diagrams and notes for the field!