Creating a plot diagram not only helps students learn 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 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 From the Desk of Zoe Washington. Students should identify major turning points in the novel such as the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Exposition: Zoe is a 12 year old girl who loves baking. Living in Boston, Massachusetts with her mom and her step-father, Zoe dreams of being on TV and winning a baking competition. She spends her time interning at her mom’s friend’s bakery, and hopes to get enough experience to qualify for the show. Meanwhile, she receives a letter from her birth father, Marcus, who has been in jail since before she was born. Zoe learns that her father may very well not be guilty of the grizzly crime that put him in jail, and she stops at nothing to prove it.
Rising Action: Zoe receives a letter from her father in jail, and realizes he’s been sending them for years.
Climax: Zoe finds the woman who was with Marcus when the crime was committed, potentially proving his innocence.
Falling Action: Although her mom and step-father are upset that she lied, they followed through with the possible alibi and got a lawyer for Marcus.
Resolution: Marcus is able to appeal and is found not guilty. He is back with his family where he belongs.
(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 From the Desk of Zoe Washington.
Grade Level 4-6
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.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
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.
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.