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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Creative Americans

[Detail] Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald by Carl Van Vechten

Criticism | Character Sketch and Short Story | Biography and Biographical Fiction | Portraits | Drama

Character Sketch and Short Story

Students can use any portrait from this collection as the starting point for a character sketch, especially the portraits of people who are not celebrities. They can use the details of a portrait, from the person's appearance, expression, name, and setting, to the date and caption, to create the details of a believable and compelling fictional character. If students enjoy this activity, they may want to develop their character sketches into short stories.