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 helps 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.

The Kite Runner Plot Diagram Example


The novel begins in 2001, with the narrator, Amir, alluding to a phone call he received from his father’s friend Rahim Khan. He recalls something that happened in 1975, back when he lived in Afghanistan with his father, his father’s servant Ali, and Ali’s son Hassan. Ali and Hassan are Hazaras, and Amir is Pashtun. Baba, Amir’s father, is a successful businessman, and Amir never quite feels like he can live up to Baba’s expectations for him. He sees an upcoming kite tournament as a chance to make Baba proud.


Hassan is the best kite runner in Kabul, and doggedly loyal to Amir. Amir is slightly jealous of Hassan’s athletic abilities and his father’s kindness to him. Amir likes to read and write, but Baba has no patience for such things. Amir wins the tournament, and Hassan goes to run the final kite. When Amir goes to search for him, he finds him in an alley with Assef, a local bully who idolizes Hitler. He watches as Assef rapes Hassan, but he is too afraid to intervene.

Rising Action

Amir is ashamed for not helping Hassan, and avoids him. Eventually, he frames him for stealing and while Baba forgives him, Ali and Hassan leave anyway. In 1981, Baba and Amir flee the fighting in Afghanistan for California, where Baba works at a gas station. Amir graduates high school, and meets and marries Soraya, the daughter of a formerly powerful general. Baba dies of lung cancer, Amir becomes a writer, and Amir and Soraya discover they cannot have children.


In June 2001, Amir receives a call from Rahim Khan telling him that there is a way to be good again. Amir returns to Afghanistan to discover that Hassan had a son who is now orphaned after Hassan and his wife were killed. He also learns that Hassan is Baba’s son, his half-brother. Sohrab has been taken by Assef, who is now a Taliban official, and he is being sexually abused. Amir confronts Assef, who beats him viciously until he is saved when Sohrab shoots Assef in the eye with his slingshot.

Falling Action

Amir escapes with Sohrab, who is named after Hassan’s favorite story as a child, Rostam and Sohrab from the Shahnama. Farid brings him to a hospital in Peshawar. Initially, Rahim Khan told Amir that there was a couple who ran an orphanage in Peshawar who would take care of Sohrab, but he soon discovers that no couple ever existed. Rahim Khan was in poor health and has probably passed away. Amir takes Sohrab to Isalamabad, where he finds that Sohrab is withdrawn and afraid of being abandoned.


Amir and Soraya agree to bring Sohrab to America, but they are stonewalled by the American embassy because there is no way to prove Sohrab is an orphan. Amir tells Sohrab he might have to go back to the orphanage, and Sohrab attempts to commit suicide. When Sohrab recovers, Amir delivers the news that Soraya’s uncle can get him to America. They arrive in California, and Sohrab remains silent until they go kite-flying one day. Amir offers to run Sohrab’s kite, ”a thousand times over”, echoing Hassan’s own words to him.

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 The Kite Runner.

  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.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-10

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [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.)

Plot Diagram Rubric (Grades 9-12)
Create a plot diagram for the story using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
25 Points
21 Points
17 Points
Try Again
13 Points
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.

More Storyboard That Activities

The Kite Runner

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