Inherit the Wind Plot Diagram

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Inherit the Wind


Plot Diagram for Inherit the Wind

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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 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.

Plot Diagram
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Inherit the Wind Plot Diagram Example

Exposition

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.


Conflict

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.


Rising Action

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.


Climax

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.


Falling Action

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.


Resolution

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.



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Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of Inherit the Windr.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  3. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  4. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

Plot Diagram Template

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