Sometimes, it is difficult for students to connect with themes in poetry until they put them into a real-world context. Consider the following activity for students to storyboard.
At its core, “Jabberwocky” is a tale of heroism, and the battle between a good son and an evil creature. It is believed that Lewis Carroll was inspired to write the poem by the legend of the Lambton Worm. Many legends begin as stories, sometimes based on facts, or well-known events in a particular area. Sometimes, the legends are also based on landmarks. Have students create their own legendary creature that menaces civilization, and a hero to save the day. Have them document their legend in a storyboard plot diagram like the one below.
Once upon a time in the small mountain town of Wisdom Lake, there was a girl who longed to explore the world around her. Orphaned at 3, Laura just wanted to get away from her evil Aunt Pearl, who wouldn’t let her go past the boundary of the property line and made her do chores all day.
On the top of Wisdom Mountain, which overlooked Wisdom Lake, there was gleaming white rock in the shape of a pyramid. The locals said the rock held magic powers, and whoever could climb up to it would be able to find eternal freedom. The problem was, it was guarded by a one-eyed red monster they called the Cyclomanderion. Many had died trying to capture the stone; none had successfully defeated the Cyclomanderion.
One day, Laura was walking quietly out to the barn to feed the horses. Suddenly, she saw a sparkle above her on the mountain. She squinted, and the sparkling thing moved. She listened and heard someone yell, “Help!” Laura looked around – the village was silent. No one else heard. She knew she had to help whoever it was, so she grabbed a training whip from the horse barn and began to run.
Laura made it to the base of the mountain in minutes. Slowly, she began to pick her way upwards, holding onto rocks and carefully placing her feet on solid ground. As she worked her way up, she continued to hear the screams for help. Finally, after what seemed like hours, Laura pulled herself up over the last stone and found herself face-to-face with the most terrifying creature she’d ever seen. Behind the creature was the stone, shining furiously into Laura’s eyes.
Laura grabbed her whip and threw herself over the edge at the creature. The Cyclomanderion got into an attack position, and Laura could see that behind it was a scared little boy. She roared and cracked the whip at the creature, but it ducked. As she reared back to strike again, the whip struck the stone and the stone exploded, throwing Laura, the creature, and the child over the side of the mountain.
When Laura awoke, she was in a field. She looked over and found the child sleeping peacefully beside her. On the other side of her, she watched as a large red scorpion scuttled away. She looked towards the mountain, but it was gone. In its place stood a magnificent tree with glowing white fruit. To this day, we don’t understand what turns the fruit so white, but we know it has something to do with the Cyclomanderion and his white pyramid on the mountain.
(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 plot diagram for an original legend building upon ideas from “Jabberwocky”.
Grade Level 9-10
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
Type of Activity: Modern Day Adaptations: Parody and SatireCommon Core Standards
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
| Try Again |
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.