The Prince and the Pauper Plot Diagram
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/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/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.
Example The Prince and the Pauper Plot Diagram
Young Tom Canty lives with his mother, sisters, and abusive father in Offal Court, a poverty-stricken London neighborhood. Tom faces hunger, cold, and beatings every day, but dreams of life as a prince. Just a few miles away, young Prince Edward Tudor lives in the palace with his father, King Henry VIII. The same age as Tom Canty, Edward’s life is entirely different: he is wealthy, spoiled, and powerful.
Prince Edward meets Tom at the palace gates and shows him kindness after a guard beats him. Inside the palace, Tom and Edward trade stories and swap clothes, noticing their identical appearances as they do so. When Edward leaves the palace in Tom’s clothing, the guards do not let him back in, and Tom and Edward get stuck living each other’s lives.
Both boys struggle to adapt to their new lives. Though they each protest that they are not who they appear to be, no one believes them. Gradually, Tom comes to enjoy life as a prince and uses his power to change unjust laws. Edward detests life with John Canty and faces poverty, pain, and death at every turn. He survives his trials only with the help of a kind-hearted noble, Miles Hendon.
Edward escapes his enemies and appears at Tom’s coronation just in the nick of time. Tom is about to be crowned king in Westminster Abbey when Edward walks up the aisle and declares he is king. When Tom agrees with him, the onlookers and royal representatives are bewildered.
The Lord Protector questions the boys to determine who is the true king. When he asks for the location of the long-missing Great Royal Seal, Edward identifies its location, proving that the boy in rags is the true King Edward VI.
Edward is made king and deals mercifully with his subjects. He rewards Miles and Tom for their service and rights the wrongs he noticed while living as a pauper. His time outside the palace opened his eyes to the injustices of the law, and he works to make life less brutal for his subjects.