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How to Make a Wanted Poster

written by: Kellie Hayden • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 1/5/2012

A wanted poster can showcase the literary term antagonist, along with a story, novel or play. Making one can be fun for students and it is a great way to showcase a character from a novel.

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    Making a wanted poster is a creative way that you can analyze a character in a novel or story. For example, you can easily create wanted posters for characters in the story Curious George, the novel The Crucible or the play The Ring of General Macias. The wanted poster is a versatile project that can be used for many assignments at just about any grade level.

    Teachers may ask you to make a wanted poster for a lesson where students complete different assignments or where students read at different levels. A rubric is included with this article to help you see how to be successful in this activity.

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    Choose Your Antagonist

    In order for you to create a wanted poster, there has to be a "bad guy" or an antagonist in the story, novel or play. An antagonist works against the protagonist or the hero. This person is also sometimes called the villain and will sometimes deceive or frustrate the hero.

    The character that you choose for the wanted poster does not necessarily have to have committed a crime in the story. They just need to have done something that was very negative towards another character in the story, novel, or play.

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    Wanted Poster Steps

    The following are the directions to help you to create your wanted poster.

    Step 1: Select a character. Write the name of the character on notebook paper and begin a list of items to write on the wanted poster.

    Research Character

    Take Notes about Antagonist Step 2: Search the text and find if there were any aliases used in the novel for the character.

    Step 3: Make a physical description of the character and include any outstanding or distinguishing traits about a character. For example, you should list the following: height, weight, sex, hair color, eye color, scars, clothing, nationality, etc.

    Step 4: Describe why the character is "wanted." What terrible thing did the character do? Is the character hiding? Is the character with another character? Is the character "armed and dangerous"?

    Step 5: What is the character like? What does the character like to do? What skills or hobbies does the character have?

    Step 6: Write where the character was last seen.

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    Making & Assessing the Wanted Poster

    You can make your wanted posters on the computer or you can use a large piece of construction paper. For the included directions, you will be using a large piece of construction paper. A sample template for the wanted poster is available.

    Materials Needed: Construction paper, markers, scissors, colored pencils, glue sticks, old magazines, computer, printer, computer generated titles or clip art.

    Step 7: You need a picture of your character. The picture can come from old magazines. You need to select a model or person who looks like the character. Or, you can search the Internet for a picture or photo.

    Step 8: You need to put together all of the parts of the wanted poster:

    • The words "Help Wanted" need to go at the top of the poster in big and bold letters.
    • The name of the character need to be written below in bold letters as well. If you found an alias, please write that too.
    • The picture of the character needs to be glued neatly in the center.
    • You can type or neatly write the physical description. The words "physical description" should be written in bold letters before the description.
    • Write or type why the character is wanted. You can write the word "crime" before the description.
    • Write or type any special skills or hobbies the character has.
    • Write or type where the character was last seen.

    Assess Wanted Poster

    Teachers will usually grade the wanted poster on the content of the poster as well as the appearance. Many teachers will use a rubric. Criteria for a rubric are as follows: accuracy, detail in content, writing conventions, neatness, use of color, and creativity.

    Sample Rubric for Wanted Poster

    4

    • Content provides enough description and is accurate.
    • Very few writing convention errors.
    • Titles, description and picture are neatly written, placed and cut.
    • Color and creativity make the poster attractive and interesting.

    3

    • Content mostly provides enough description and is mostly accurate.
    • A few writing convention errors.
    • Titles, description and picture are mostly neatly written, placed and cut.
    • Color and creativity mostly make the poster attractive and interesting.

    2

    • Content somewhat provides enough description and is somewhat accurate.
    • Some writing convention errors.
    • Titles, description and picture are somewhat neatly written, placed and cut.
    • Color and creativity somewhat make the poster attractive and interesting.

    1

    • Content does not provide enough description and is not accurate.
    • Many writing convention errors.
    • Titles, description and picture are not neatly written, placed and cut.
    • Color and creativity do not make the poster attractive or interesting.

    Share Wanted Posters

    Sometimes teachers will want you to casually share your posters with the class. In addition to sharing the information on the poster, you should tell why you chose the particular character. Usually, there is something about the character that you like.