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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 novel. 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 novel with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the novel in the sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.



Example Fahrenheit 451 Plot Diagram

Exposition

The novel is set in a futuristic world where firemen start fires and all books are banned. A fireman, Montag, meets a woman named Clarisse while walking home one day. She asks him if he is happy. Although it is a seemingly innocent question, it causes Montag to evaluate his life.


Major Inciting Conflict

Montag sees a woman who burned herself with her books. Even though it is illegal, Montag takes a book, an item he is sworn to destroy.


Rising Action

Montag's chief, Captain Beatty, knows that Montag has taken a book and attempts to explain why they have been censored in hopes of reasoning with him. Beatty himself has committed many verses of famous literature to memory, despite his job enforcing the destruction of literature.


Climax

The novel climaxes when Montag reads a poem to his wife and her friends, who have come over to watch television. The ladies leave disgusted, offended, and threaten to file a complaint against him. It is his wife who reports him to the authorities.


Falling Action

Montag is ordered to burn the books himself. Instead he kills his chief and the other firemen in order to escape with the few books he has left. He is able to make his way down the river and finds a colony of intellectuals who love books.


Resolution

Together with these people, he hopes to travel to St. Louis where he can speak to a book printer to try and reproduce books. At the last moment, jets appear overhead and decimate the colony. The novel ends with the group searching for survivors to rebuild civilization.


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 Arcs

Common 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


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 Fahrenheit 451.


  1. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  2. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  3. 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 (Grades 9-12)
Create a plot diagram for the story using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Proficient
25 Points
Emerging
21 Points
Beginning
17 Points
Try Again
13 Points
Descriptive and Visual Elements
Cells have many descriptive elements, and provide the reader with a vivid representation.
Cells have many descriptive elements, but flow of cells may have been hard to understand.
Cells have few descriptive elements, or have visuals that make the work confusing.
Cells have few or no descriptive elements.
Grammar/Spelling
Textables have three or fewer spelling/grammar errors.
Textables have four or fewer spelling/grammar errors.
Textables have five or fewer spelling/grammar errors.
Textables have six or more spelling/grammar errors.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out. Student has done both peer and teacher editing.
Work is well written and carefully thought out. Student has either teacher or peer editing, but not both.
Student has done neither peer, nor teacher editing.
Work shows no evidence of any effort.
Plot
All parts of the plot are included in the diagram.
All parts of the plot are included in the diagram, but one or more is confusing.
Parts of the plot are missing from the diagram, and/or some aspects of the diagram make the plot difficult to follow.
Almost all of the parts of the plot are missing from the diagram, and/or some aspects of the diagram make the plot very difficult to follow.




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Fahrenheit 451





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