Plot Diagram | Animal Farm Summary
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual or Group
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
- [ELA-Literacy/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
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
A common activity for students is to create a plot diagram of the events from a novel. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of a plot, it also helps to reinforce major events, and helps students develop greater understanding of literary structures.
Students can create a storyboard that captures the narrative arc of a story with a six-cell storyboard which contains the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the novel in sequence, using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Example Animal Farm Plot Diagram
On the Manor Farm, a venerable boar named Old Major, gathers the animals for a meeting and inspires them to revolt. although he dies, two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, vow to continue his work, and lead the others in driving off the unfit, drunken farmer. The pigs of the farm begin to establish a new government where animals have rights. They adopt "The Seven Commandments of Animalism", the most important of which is: "All animals are equal."
The animals begin to read and write. They use the commandments to educate all the young. Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. However, when the pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership, a struggle for power begins between the two successors of Old Major. Napoleon wins by having his dogs chase Snowball off the farm.
As supreme leader, Napoleon enacts changes to the governance of the farm, replacing meetings of all animals with a committee of pigs who will run the farm. Eventually, Napoleon's supremacy has him paranoid that someone will try to overthrow him.
Napoleon begins to blame Snowball, the pig he chased away, for incidents happening on the farm. Using Snowball as a scapegoat, Napoleon begins to purge the farm, accusing other animals of conspiring with his old rival, and attacking them with dogs.
The animals become convinced that they were better off with the farmer, Mr. Jones, than the tyranny that has come to be. Things get progressively worse on the farm. Animals are worked to the point of collapsing, and it is clear that the commandments have been rewritten.
Animals are no longer equal. The pigs are beginning to take on human qualities, like walking upright. As the animals gaze at pigs and humans, they realize they can no longer tell the two apart.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)
Create a visual plot diagram of Animal Farm.
- Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
- Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
- Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.
(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)