The Cay Summary
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
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
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/5] Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/3] Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot)
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/5] Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/3] Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision
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.
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.
The Cay Plot Diagram Example
Phillip and his parents are Americans living on the Dutch island of Curaçao in the Caribbean Sea. Life in Curaçao has become more dangerous now that the second world war has started and the Germans have begun attacking the oil refineries on the island.
When Phillip and his mother attempt to return to the U.S. for safety reasons, their ship is torpedoed by Germans. When Phillip wakes up after being hit on the head by debris, he finds himself on a raft in the middle of the ocean with an old, black man and a cat. A few days later, Phillip loses his sight as a result of his head injury.
After landing on a deserted cay, Phillip and Timothy struggle to get along due to Phillip's anger and racism. Gradually, however, Phillip learns to appreciate Timothy and the two work together to survive on the island. Timothy teaches Phillip how to get food, water, and fire in spite of his blindness.
In July, a hurricane hits the cay. Timothy is prepared for it and secures their knives and fish hooks, then ties Phillip and himself to a tree. They survive the hurricane, but the storm weakens Timothy and he dies just a few hours later.
Phillip buries Timothy and continues to live on the cay, using the survival skills that Timothy taught him. After the hurricane, he rebuilds a brush pile for a signal fire and lights it when he hears a plane flying overhead.
After a pilot spots Phillip's signal fire, a ship is sent to rescue him and he is reunited with his parents. Three operations later, he regains his sight. Phillip returns to life as normal, but he never forgets his friend and protector, Timothy.
(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 Cay.
- 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.
(Use this rubric or create your own on Quick Rubric.)