Plot Diagram | The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Summary
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
- [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 novel. 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.
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 story in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Creating a storyboard for summarizing The Boy in the Striped Pajamas will challenge students to decide what is essential. Similar to a "Five Finger Retell", students need to think critically about the events in order. This activity will also give students the opportunity to explore characters in more depth.
Consider having students plan their storyboard with a blank template prior to creating the full storyboard online. Students should begin with the retold narrative in each box before adding character dialogue. This will allow them to focus on the purpose of retelling without getting distracted by the details of the storyboard.
Example Plot Diagram for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The book starts by introducing young Bruno. He is very upset because his maid is packing all of his things and he doesn't understand why she would be touching his belongings. It turns out that his father is a German officer during World War II and his job is requiring a move from Berlin to Poland to live near the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Major Inciting Conflict
In addition to the Nazi vs. Jews conflict, there is also a conflict between Bruno and his parents. They don't fully realize how severe the conflict is - Bruno not liking his new home and lack of friends - but it leads to his escape into the camp.
Bruno goes against his mothers wishes and "explores" beyond the fenced back yard. He meets and befriends Shmuel and he begins to visit him daily. He sneaks food to him as well.
Bruno changes into a set of striped pajamas and crawls under the fence to the prisoner side. He leaves his clothes and boots. The two boys go to look around the prison grounds for Shmuel's father, who has gone missing.
Bruno and Shmuel get locked inside the prison.
Both Bruno and Shmuel are murdered in the gas chamber. This is never fully realized by his parents, but it leads both into a world of despair and pain.
(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 Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
- 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.)