In This Activity
A common use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a story. 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.
This sample lesson plan, 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. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the story in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
"If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth…" Plot Diagram
Marvin is ten years old, and his father is taking him through the different levels of the Colony to a place he’s never been before: Outside. They hop into a little scouting vehicle with a pressurized cabin and take off away from the Colony.
Marvin has never before seen the Outside, and he wonders where his father is taking him. Everything he knows about the Outside has come from books. He wonders why an old book of his father’s has the rhyme, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are" in it when the stars are steady specks of light.
As Marvin and his father leave the plateau with the Colony on it behind, they enter a darkened world surrounded by high mountains. Marvin is nervous as they pass a crashed rocket and darkened paths. He observes that his father is driving like he’s trying to escape from something.
Finally, after hours of driving, Marvin sees something strange. A silver crescent floats over the horizon, and it is not the sun. Marvin realizes that this is Earth, and it is awash in the glow of the sun; he is seeing Earth from the moon. However, there is also a glow in the darker parts of the Earth from the nuclear war that destroyed it.
Marvin’s father tells him the story about the days of despair that followed the war, when the people of the Colony realized they were alone. As he speaks, Marvin realizes that the people of the Colony bring their children there for a purpose: to show them that eventually, one day, after the nuclear fallout has decayed, they need to return home.
As they drive back to the Colony, Marvin can’t look behind him. He feels the desolation of exile because he knows he will never get to go home; however, he also understands his purpose: to have children, to show them Earth, and to eventually get the human race back home.
Template and Class Instructions
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a visual plot diagram of "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth…".
- Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
- Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
- Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.
Lesson Plan Reference
- [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
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
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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.
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.
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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