Plot Diagram | "The Devil and Tom Walker" Summary
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 9-12
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
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.
Example “The Devil and Tom Walker” Plot Diagram
Tom Walker and his wife are described as miserly and bitter towards each others. The couple even goes as far as hiding money from each other.
Major Inciting Conflict
Tom Walker is approached by the Devil to make a deal with him. He offers Tom pirate treasure, buried nearby; this will make him very wealthy.
Tom goes home to think about the deal. His wife urges him to do it, and he spites her by refusing. She goes into the woods herself to take the deal and doesn't return. With his wife gone, Tom revisits the Devil's pact and becomes a usurer in Boston.
Tom becomes very wealthy, but begins to worry about his soul. He regrets the deal and tries to repent by reading the Bible and attending church, but he remains in his nefarious business. While Tom argues with a debtor, there come three loud knocks at his door!
The devil arrives to collect his due: Tom's soul.
The people of Boston appointed a board to oversee Tom's estate. However, when they looked for all the money he had made, there was nothing left. Legend remains that to this day, the black horse and a figure in a white cap can be seen on the marsh, "which is doubtless the troubled spirit of the usurer."
(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 Devil and Tom Walker".
- 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.
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