Plot Diagram | "Red Kayak" Summary
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 4-5
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
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 use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a story. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and help students develop greater understanding of literary structures. Sometimes students will really have to think carefully about which events are major turning points in the plot.
Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a work with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the selection in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. An additional challenge would be to diagram the entire book, also entitled Red Kayak, which has a much different feel to it.
Example "Red Kayak" Plot Diagram
Brady sees his new neighbor, Mrs. DiAngelo, taking her red kayak out on the creek with her three year old son. He knows it isn't safe because of tides and winds, but doesn't stop them.
Brady finds out that Mrs. DiAngelo and her son, Ben, are missing after going out on the creek.
Brady and his dog, Tilly, join the search for the missing DiAngelos. Carl and the other rescuers look downstream, while Brady goes off on his own.
With the help of Tilly's instincts, Brady finds little Ben, but he is not breathing! Brady tries to remember what to do in an emergency.
Brady remembers what Carl said about ABC: check airway, check breathing, check circulation. He desperately performs CPR on Ben and steers the boat back to shore.
The paramedics find Ben's pulse. Brady reflects on what happened and thinks about fate; he wonders what would’ve happened to Ben if he hadn’t been there to check the little creeks. He realizes he will never be the same person because he helped save a life.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)
Create a visual plot diagram of the selection from Red Kayak.
- Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
- 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.
- Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.
(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)