Types of Conflict Found In Literature

By Katherine Docimo

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Identifying major themes of literature and analyzing their development throughout a piece of text is part of ELA common core standards for grades 9-12 (Literacy.RL.9-10.2, Literacy.RL11-12.2). A common approach for this standard is to teach about the “Big Four” types of literary conflict: Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Society, and Man vs. Self.

Storyboard That is the perfect way to engage high-school ELA students, and teach them to identify types of literary conflict. Visual cues in storyboards bring heady concepts such as Man vs. Society and Man vs. Self down to earth through “comic-strip” style illustrations and captions.

The "Big Four"

Teachers can create fun and easy-to-assess classwork that tasks high-school students with creating storyboards focusing on literary conflict. The linear nature of a storyboard mirrors the progression of conflict and reinforces learning.

Students create storyboards using details and characters pulled from text, allowing teachers to determine almost immediately whether students comprehend the objectives.

Example Exercises:
Teachers can customize the level of detail and number of cells required for projects based on available class time and resources.

Examples From Famous Books

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!


Another advantage to storyboarding is the ease with which storyboard assignments can be graded and assessed via a rubric.

Example Rubric

More Examples of Literary Conflict Activities

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