Narrative Arc and the prototypical “Plot Diagram” are key learning tools for building literature comprehension and appreciation. Plot diagrams allows students to pick out major themes in the text, track changes to major characters over the course of the narrative, and hone their understanding of literary structure, meeting many Common Core Standards for English Language Arts (CCSS.ELA-Literacy). In addition, these concepts give students a fuller understanding of classroom texts as well as stories present in their favorite books and movies.
Below is the basic structure of a plot diagram.
Beginning [Exposition, Rising Action]
Middle [Conflict, Climax]
End [Falling Action, Resolution]
By plotting simple narrative arcs in three-celled storyboards or more complicated stories in six-celled ones, teachers can easily assess students’ understanding important story components. Combined illustrations and text can enliven difficult concepts like “rising action” and “climax.”
Making storyboards that explain plot is an engaging, fun way for students to interact with the texts they read in class and bring their understanding to life! The details and characters featured in students’ storyboards allow instructors to immediately determine whether students comprehend the scope of the objectives.
Some fun ways teachers can teach plot diagrams through Storyboard That include:
Students illustrate exposition, rising action and conflict, climax, falling action, and resolution, in a more in-depth six cell storyboard.
Students can diagram their own creative writing to find major plot points in what they’ve written for class.
Teachers put an empty storyboard on an assessment and require students to illustrate the plot points of a class text.
Relating to the Common Core
Deconstructing a piece of literature via a plot diagram matches common core ELA standards for many age groups.
RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3 : Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution (CCSS 2013)
Spelling and Grammar
Each cell includes a creative heading. Cells include images that help to tell the story and do not hinder understanding.
There are three cells. Each one represents a different part of the story. The cells are in order from beginning to end.
Student uses mostly accurate spelling and grammar that does not hinder understanding.
A cell is missing a heading, or headings are completely unrelated to the work of prose.
Cells are out of order.
Student has spelling that is completely off and hinders understanding fully.