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Activity Overview


Students can create and show a storyboard that captures the concept of the Five Act Structure by making a six-cell storyboard, like the one below. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the acts in order: Prologue, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Denouement.



Macbeth Five Act Structure Example

Act 1: Prologue or Exposition

The play takes place in Scotland.

A war is ending. The Scottish general, Macbeth, and his faithful friend, Banquo, have emerged victorious. However, three witches have brewed an evil plot against Macbeth and when they meet him, they tell him that he will be King! “We shall tell Macbeth he will be Thane and King! As for Banquo, he will have kings!”


Act 2: Rising Action

Macbeth and his wife kill the King and take the throne. They go on a tyrannical killing spree. The action rises as the audience sees how ambitious Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have become.

“How can I be king someday?”

“Macbeth, we had to Kill King Duncan, and we will have to kill others to keep our place on the throne!”


Act 3: The Climax

Macbeth holds a banquet and sees the ghost of Banquo (whom Macbeth had killed). Lady Macbeth becomes mentally unstable, and the couple begins to fear the consequences of their murderous deeds.


Act 4: Falling Action

A rebellion is instigated by Macduff to restore the throne to Duncan's exiled son. Macbeth learns another set of prophecies from the witches and begins to think he will be saved.


Act 5: Denouement or Resolution

The three witches’ predictions come true, and the castle is stormed. Macbeth is killed.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 11-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Type of Activity: The Five Act Play (Dramatic Structure)

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/2] Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/3] Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed)
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact


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 Macbeth.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Separate the play into the Prologue/Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Denouement.
  3. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the acts.
  4. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.



Rubric

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



Five Act Structure Rubric (Grades 9-12)
Create a plot diagram for the play using Prologue/Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
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.
Grammar/Spelling
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.
Plot
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.




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