Assumptions: 7th grade students know what characters are, and they may have heard the terms protagonist and antagonist, but they do not know much else about characters.
Solution: I have chunked opposite character types by using the same color to identify the type. According to Lohr (2008) “[t]he first function of color is to label or differentiate information” (p. 265). I used red for the characters who move the story along, green for character types that indicate change, or lack of change, and blue for characters who are more, or less, complex. The colors I chose are not symbolic, or hierarchical, but I did try to choose colors with the same value for continuity.
User Test: My parents are visiting, so I had them look over the visual. Based on their feedback, I thickened the labels for each character type and clarified my explanation of each type.
Sources: Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.