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Activity Overview


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.



Thirteen Reasons Why Plot Diagram Example

Exposition

The faculty and students at Crestmont High School are shocked to see Hannah Baker's empty desk and learn that she has committed suicide. The student body is disturbed, but there is little discussion of the incident, and no one attends her out-of-town funeral.


Conflict

Clay Jensen, a boy who had a crush on Hannah, discovers a package of cassette tapes at his front door. The tapes contain the story of thirteen reasons (people) for Hannah's suicide. Each of the 13 people who will receive the box of tapes will learn how they contributed to Hannah's decision to take her own life.


Rising Action

As Clay listens to the tapes, he learns that Hannah was misrepresented in rumors that spread around school. As a result of these rumors, Hannah struggled to fit in, and was betrayed and abused by many of her peers. Clay worries about his own reason for appearing on the tapes, as he agonizes over the pain Hannah expresses in her story.


Climax

Clay listens to tape #5 and discovers his connection to Hannah's death. Hannah doesn't blame him, but explains that she liked him. She describes a party where she and Clay talked for the first time. Due to their similarities and mutual attraction, they had could have become close. But after they kiss, Hannah pushes Clay away. Later, Hannah witnesses a rape and a drunk driving accident. This night is a turning point, eliminating her sense of self-worth and desire to open up to others.


Falling Action

All but determined to take her own life, Hannah makes one last attempt to reach out for help by talking to Mr. Porter. When he tells her to “move beyond” her troubles, she makes a final decision to kill herself. She records the tapes, mails them, and then commits suicide.


Resolution

After listening to the tapes, Clay finally understands why Hannah took her own life. He is filled with grief but learns from her story. The next day at school, he skips class to reach out to Skye Miller, another girl who is showing signs of social avoidance and unhappiness.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [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
  • [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


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of Thirteen Reasons Why.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  3. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  4. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.



Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)



Plot Diagram Rubric for Middle School
Create a plot diagram for the story using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Proficient
33 Points
Emerging
25 Points
Beginning
17 Points
Plot Images
Cells include images that convey events in the corresponding stage of the plot. The images represent an important moment and exemplify the descriptions below them.
Cells include one or two images that convey events from an incorrect stage of the plot. Most images represent an important moment and exemplify the descriptions below them.
Cells include three or more images that convey events from an incorrect stage of the plot. Images depict minor and inimportant moments or do not reflect the descriptions below them.
Plot Text
The storyboard correctly identifies all six stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells correctly breaks down the plot events into appropriate stages. The text gives a logical overview of the plot and includes the most significant events of the book.
The storyboard misidentifies one or two stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells breaks down most of the plot events into appropriate stages. The text gives a logical overview of the plot, but may omit some significant events of the book.
The storyboard misidentifies three or more stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells does not correspond to the events of that stage. Overall plot description is not logical.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is exemplary. Text contains few or no mistakes.
Text contains some significant errors in spelling or grammar.
Text contains many errors in spelling or grammar.




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