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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 book in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.



Island of the Blue Dolphins Plot Diagram Example

Island of the Blue Dolphins is told from the point of view of Karana, a teenage girl who lives with her tribe on an island in the South Pacific.


Exposition

Russian Aleuts come to Karana's island to hunt for otter pelts. The two peoples come to an agreement that allows the Aleuts to get pelts and keeps Karana's people safe.


Conflict

The Aleuts go back on the established deal. A bloody battle ensues between the Aleuts and the native islanders.


Rising Action

The conflict has made it too hard for the villagers to stay on their island. The villagers leave on a ship, but Ramo gets left behind. Karana leaps out of the boat and swims to shore, so her little brother would not be alone. The two siblings must work together to survive on their own.


Climax

Wild dogs attack and kill Ramo. In her grief, Karana burns down her village because she can't stand to be there by herself any more. She vows to kill all of the wild dogs. But when she gets the chance, Karana decides not to kill the leader of the pack of dogs and tames him. She names him Rontu, or Fox Eyes.


Falling Action

The Aleuts return to her island and Karana retreats to a cave. She makes a tenuous friendship with Tutok, an Aleut girl. Karana yearns for human company, even if not of her tribe. One day Tutok does not come at their normal meeting time, and Karana watches the Aleut ship sail away.


Resolution

Karana is rescued from her island and from her solitude. She has been alone on the island for several years. She discovers that the rest of her village did not survive the journey on the ocean.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-5

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/2] Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/3] Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/5] Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10)


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of Island of the Blue Dolphins.


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



Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)



Plot Diagram Rubric (Grades 5-8)
Proficient
33 Points
Emerging
25 Points
Beginning
17 Points
Design and Creative Elements
Creativity and imagery are used effectively (helps to tell the story). At least three Textables are included in plot diagram.
Creative elements (clipart) are somewhat distracting. At least two Textables throughout their plot diagram.
Creativity is minimally apparent, and the overall design shows a lack of effort. Clipart may be confusing and distract from the story. Student used one or fewer Textables.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling within the Textables is mostly correct (fewer than eight errors). Grammar does not hinder understanding.
Spelling within textables is somewhat correct (fewer than 10 errors). Grammar may hinder some understanding or make reading difficult.
Spelling is mostly incorrect (10 or more errors). Grammar severely hinders understanding.
Plot Elements
There are three complete slides: one for beginning, one for the middle, and one for the end. Slides explain the work of prose and are easy to follow.
There are three cells, but one or two do not depict the correct element within the work of prose (e.g. the beginning is misplaced). Story is somewhat difficult to follow.
One or more cells is missing. Only one part of the plot is represented (e.g. only the beginning). Story is hard to follow.




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