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 Fish in a Tree. Students should identify major turning points in the novel such as the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Exposition: Ally doesn’t like school. She is always getting into trouble and the work is just too hard. When she tries to read or write, the words seem to dance around and she just can’t do it. Her teacher doesn’t understand her and the mean girls make fun of her. Until one day, when her teacher goes on maternity leave, Ally’s world changes and it’s because of Mr. Daniels; he is not like the others. In fact, he is not like anyone Ally has ever met.
Rising Action: Mrs. Hall leaves to have a baby, and Mr. Daniels is Ally’s new teacher. Ally finds it more and more difficult to hide her struggles from him.
Climax: Mr. Daniels asks Ally questions about what it’s like when she reads and tells her that he’d like to have her tested for dyslexia. He begins helping Ally after school and teaches her how to play chess.
Falling Action: Mr. Daniels tells the class about the famous people who struggled with dyslexia. Ally’s classmates think it’s cool that Ally is like these famous people and everyone begins getting along - except for Shay. Ally becomes class president. Also, Albert confronts the bullies who have been beating up for a long time.
Resolution: Ally has gained confidence and Mr. Daniels offers to help Ally’s brother, Travis, learn to read.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Create a visual plot diagram of Fish in a Tree.
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.