Creating a plot diagram not only helps students learn the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and helps students develop a 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. In this activity, students will create a visual plot diagram of major events in A Mango-Shaped Space. Students should identify major turning points in the novel such as the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Exposition: Thirteen year old Mia isn’t like everyone else. For her, words, numbers, and sounds have color. It’s all around her, all of the time - as if being thirteen isn’t hard enough already. When Mia starts struggling in school, she realizes that there has to be more to her than just not being “normal.”
Rising Action: Mia begins to do poorly in math and finally tells her parents about what’s going on with her. After seeing a few doctors, Mia learns that she has a condition called synesthesia. She joins an online community of others like her, and begins to embrace who she is.
Climax: After seeming less energetic than normal and not eating, Mia’s beloved cat Mango dies. Mia blames herself because she’s been so involved in herself and feels she neglected Mango and others.
Falling Action: Mia is sad for a long time, and doesn’t want to do anything. Eventually she returns to school and her life seemingly returns to “normal”. Her family has become closer and Mia realizes who her real friends are.
Resolution: At the Roth’s holiday party, Mia and her brother, Zack, see that the family’s cat has had kittens. One of them looks exactly like Mango, and they realize that Mango is the father of the litter. Mia sees a mustard color surrounding the kitten, and doesn’t want to replace Mango so soon. That night she has a dream that she’s eating a hot dog with lots of mustard at the fair, and realizes that the kitten is meant to be a part of her family.
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Objective: Create a visual plot diagram of A Mango-Shaped Space.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
Cells include images that help to tell the story and do not get in the way of understanding. Descriptions match the images.
Descriptions do not always match the images.
Descriptions are missing or do not match the images.
Each of the six cells represents a different part of the story. The cells are in order from beginning to end.
Two cells or fewer are out of order, or the storyboard is missing important information.
Important information is missing and/or three or more cells are out of order.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is mostly accurate. Mistakes do not get in the way of understanding.
Spelling is very inaccurate and hinders full understanding.
Text is difficult to understand.