Character Body Biographies

AP Lit Body Biography Poster

Students in Denise Trach’s AP Literature class at Carmel High School put their whole selves into a literary analysis assignment by creating body-shaped biographies to analyze characters. 

Laying on large sheets of paper, students traced life-size bodies for the base of a poster presenting an analysis of a character from one of their summer reading choices to the class. The goal of a character analysis is to evaluate all facets of a character: traits, role in the story, how they change or grow, and more. 

“More and more research is proving that visuals, such as sketching, drawing and doodling, help students analyze and retain information,” said Trach. “I thought introducing students to literary analysis this way would be an interesting and effective way in!” 

The activity provided students with the opportunity to get out of their seats, collaborate, communicate with one another, think critically and be creative – all 6C qualities of Carmel graduates. 

In addition to creating the body-shaped posters, students also wrote a traditional essay on character analysis as a diagnostic tool. This assignment helped Trach see where each student is with their writing skills at this early point in the school year.