"The Yellow Wall-paper" Summary
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 9-10
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual or Group
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
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
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 helps 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 Yellow Wall-paper” Plot Diagram
The narrator’s husband, John, has rented a house in the country for the summer while his wife recovers from temporary nervous depression shortly after the birth of their child. The narrator’s husband and brother are both physicians, and they seem to be unconcerned with how the narrator feels and insist that she abstain from most activity until she is well again. The narrator, on the other hand, thinks that change and excitement would do her some good.
The narrator’s husband chooses a room with hideous yellow wallpaper for their bedroom, and the narrator spends a great deal of time in the room. It is an old nursery, and the wallpaper has a strange and unsettling pattern wherever it hasn’t been peeled off. The narrator begins to focus heavily on the wallpaper each day, hating the color and becoming almost angry at the pattern.
As the days wear on, the narrator continues to write secretively behind John’s back, as John believes writing will make the narrator’s nervousness worse. The narrator feels intense guilt at not being more of a help to John, and for her nervousness getting in the way of their lives. She continues to become more isolated as John continues to stress that it is up to the narrator’s own self-will to get better. She fancies that the pattern on the wallpaper begins to move.
The narrator continues to study the wallpaper each day, and begins to notice that the pattern changes as the light in the room changes. She begins to see a woman creeping around behind the wallpaper, and the wallpaper begins to assault her senses even when she is not in the room. The narrator doesn’t really sleep anymore, and intently watches the woman in the wall creeping around the room.
The narrator begins to see the creeping woman wandering around in the arbors and the garden. The narrator grows sure that her husband and Jennie are growing suspicious of her behavior. The day before they are supposed to return home, the narrator begins to strip the wallpaper from the walls to set the creeping woman free. She locks herself in the room and throws the key down onto the front path.
John comes home and begins to bang on the bedroom door, calling for an axe to break it down. The narrator tells him where the key is, and when he finally opens the door, begins crying out at what he finds. The narrator tells him that she’s gotten out of the wallpaper finally in spite of him, and she has pulled off most of the wallpaper so that he can’t put her back. She creeps around the room and over John’s body after he faints.
(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 Yellow Wall-paper".
- 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.
(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)