Activity Overview

Creating a plot diagram not only helps students learn 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. In this activity, students will create a visual plot diagram of major events in A Single Shard. Students should identify major turning points in the novel such as the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.

A Single Shard Plot Diagram Example

Exposition: Tree-ear lives in the small Korean village of Ch’ulp’o, under a bridge with his caretaker, an old, one-legged man named Crane-man. Tree-ear is obsessed with pottery, and spends his days watching the talented potters create their masterpieces. Tree-ear works for master potter Min, and learns that Min has great talent.

Rising Action: When an emissary visits the village, Min is chosen as a finalist to create for royalty. Min smashes his pieces that he thinks aren’t perfect, and the emissary gives him one more chance: bring some vases to the palace when they are done. Tree-ear offers to make the journey for Min.

Climax: Along his journey to Songdo, Tree-ear is robbed. The robbers take Min’s beautiful vases and throw them off of a high cliff, shattering them to pieces.

Falling Action: Tree-ear refuses to give up, and goes to the bottom of the mountain to find the broken vases. He finds a piece large enough to take to the palace, and the emissary is impressed.

Resolution: Min gets commissioned to the palace, and when Tree-ear returns home, he is sad to hear that Crane-man has died. However, Tree-ear is happy to be a part of Min and Ajima’s family.

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.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a visual plot diagram of A Single Shard.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Separate the story into the Title, Exposition, 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 using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Write a short description of each of the examples in the plot diagram.
  5. Save and submit storyboard.
  6. Lesson Plan Reference

    Grade Level 4-6

    Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

    Type of Assignment Individual

    Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

    Common Core Standards
    • [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/4/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
    • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.


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

Plot Diagram Rubric
Create a visual Plot Diagram that summarizes the story. The storyboard should have six cells: Title, Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. Below each cell, type in a description of that part of the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
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.

More Storyboard That Activities

A Single Shard

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