Analyzing the Characters

This collection includes activities and lessons at a variety of levels to help students to understand the characters and their motivations more deeply. Create graphic organizers to build an inventory of characters and their connections to one another then get creative and challenge students to put themselves into the shoes of the characters themselves.


This activity helps students to understand characters and their motivations through the use of a graphic organizer.

Identity Charts

This activity helps students to understand characters and their motivations through the use of a graphic organizer.

Character Webs

Character Webs are graphic organizers that help students to gain a deeper understanding of the characters. The purpose of a Character Web is to show the connections between characters. Character Webs can also be done autobiographically; that is, a student can create a web about him/herself.

Interviewing Characters

A great way for students to get to know the characters in The Red Pony is for them to actually inhabit the personalities of those characters. In this activity, students are challenged to use what they have learned about the characters to script and perform an interview with the character.

Brochures, Posters, Illustrations

This is a fun activity, especially for those students who are not yet proficient in writing. Students can graphically "speak" about The Red Pony by creating brochures, posters, and other illustrations about the novel.


Eulogies are powerful, and should be taken seriously, even though they may contain some elements of humor. This exercise can provide students with empathy, sympathy, and a greater understanding, during any point in the novel, of the characters and situations surrounding death.

Jody and Responsibility in "The Gift"

Responsibility is an important theme in The Red Pony, especially in "The Gift." Jody experiences a wide range of emotions during the course of this story, and he also is expected to be responsible along the way. During this activity, students will not only be discussing and writing about Jody's responsibility but their own.

Placing Characters on Trial

This activity works well for many books, but it especially lends itself to The Red Pony because there are so many "alleged" crimes committed during the course of the novel. The classroom will be converted into a courtroom (as elaborate or simple as time permits). Students will begin to understand the legal system and its implications.