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.
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.
Bert Cates, a schoolteacher, is on trial for teaching the theory of evolution from Darwin’s Origin of Species. Former presidential candidate Matthew Harrison Brady is coming to the small town of Hillsboro to prosecute Bert. Henry Drummond, a hot-shot lawyer from Chicago, will represent Bert.
Bert is nervous about going to trial, and his girlfriend Rachel, the daughter of the town’s reverend, is trying to convince him to back down. The town seems to be against Bert and preparing for the triumph of Brady. The very fabric of the town, its religious beliefs, are being challenged, and the whole world is watching.
Brady and Drummond face off in the courtroom, once close friends, now very far apart. The Reverend and Mayor are concerned with how their town will be perceived by the world. They want to make sure they look as God-fearing as possible. The evidence against Bert is mounting, with Rachel forced to deliver the most damning evidence of all: a private joke, taken out of context.
The Judge refuses to allow any of Drummond’s expert witnesses to testify about what the theory of evolution entails, so Drummond calls Brady to the stand as an expert on the Bible. He gets Brady to admit that since the sun wasn’t created until the fourth day in the Bible, the first day could have been 10 million years long. He then makes a fool out of Brady by getting him to say that God speaks directly to him.
Bert is found guilty, but the Judge only fines him, which Drummond will appeal. Brady tries to make a speech to the townspeople who have abandoned him, and ends up collapsing and dying. Brady collapses and dies.
Bert and Rachel leave town on the afternoon train. Hornbeck offends Drummond by making a smarmy comment about Brady’s death. Drummond reveals that he, too, is actually very religious, and that he respected Brady. He picks up Darwin’s book and the Bible and puts them together in his briefcase, symbolizing that the two juxtaposing ideas might be able to coexist.
Grade Level 9-10
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or Group
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a visual plot diagram of Inherit the Windr.
(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.
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