The Wednesday Wars 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/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.
Example The Wednesday Wars Plot Diagram
Holling Hoodhood lives with his parents and sister in “the perfect house” on Long Island, New York. He is just beginning seventh grade at Camillo Junior High with the strict Mrs. Baker as his homeroom teacher.
When the other students leave for religious education on Wednesday afternoons, Holling is the only student left in class. Holling believes that his teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him for this and is out to make his life miserable.
For the first few Wednesdays, Mrs. Baker gives Holling chores to keep him busy. Then she begins assigning him Shakespeare plays. As he goes through the year, the lessons of the plays seem to connect to his life. Holling navigates bullying, community theater, sports, and his first girlfriend, alongside fears about the Vietnam War and the unrest it causes. All the while, Holling's demanding father keeps tensions high in the Hoodhood household, causing Holling’s older sister to run away.
One Wednesday, Mrs. Baker takes Holling on an architectural tour of his city. During the tour, he realizes there is more to architecture than money and prestige as his father thinks. Holling reassesses his priorities; he realizes that he cares about his friends and Mrs. Baker and misses his sister Heather.
Holling cashes in his savings bond to help his sister return home. He goes on an end-of-the-year class field trip, and later attends Danny Hupfer’s bar mitzvah.
Holling stands up to his father, telling him that being a man is about more than a good job. The story ends on a happy note with Holling surrounded by friends, watching as Mrs. Baker’s husband returns home safely from Vietnam.
(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 Wednesday Wars.
- 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.)