Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Plot Diagram
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 6-8
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/6/1] Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments
- [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
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 the structure of the story.
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 book in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
As an alternative or extension activity, students could focus on some of the subplots in the story, such as T.J.’s full story, or Cassie and her struggle against Lillian Jean Simms.
Example Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Plot Diagram
Cassie and her brothers live in Great Faith, Mississippi in 1933, with Mama and Big Ma, Cassie's grandmother. Stacey is nearly 13, Cassie is 9, Christopher John is 7, and Little Man is 6 years old.
The two Wallace brothers burn Mr. Perry and his two nephews. One nephew dies and the other two are severely burned. The Wallaces brag about the horrible act among their friends, but are not arrested. They also allow kids to drink and dance behind their store.
After Stacey and T.J.'s fight at the Wallaces', Mama tries to convince the people of the town to boycott the Wallaces' store. With the backing of the white lawyer, Mr. Jamison, Papa and Mr. Morrison travel to Vicksburg to buy supplies for many families.
Mr. Granger is angling to buy the Logan land, and is upset that the Logans have forgotten their "place". Mama is fired from her job, Papa is shot on one of his trips, and suddenly the property mortgage becomes due in full. They turn to Hammer for help.
R.W. and Melvin Simms frame T.J. for a break-in and murder at the store. The Wallaces and the Simms brothers drag T.J. and his family outside and threaten to lynch T.J
T.J.'s lynching is abandoned as everyone - both black and white - works together to put out the fire in the cotton fields. Cassie comes to realize that Papa started the fire to avoid further bloodshed.