• Search
  • My Storyboards

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.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", 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.

Lesson Plan Reference

Switch to: Common CoreArizonaCaliforniaFloridaGeorgiaKansasNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioOklahomaPennsylvaniaUtah


(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.
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.

How to Teach Macbeth's Five Act Structure Through Comparative Analysis



Begin the lesson by asking the students if they are familiar with the concept of a Five Act Structure in a play. Briefly explain the Five Act Structure, outlining the five acts and their significance in shaping a play's plot and character development. Introduce the objective of the lesson: to analyze Macbeth's Five Act Structure and compare it with the structures of other Shakespearean plays. Mention that comparative analysis can help us understand the unique aspects of Macbeth's structure.


Analyzing Macbeth

Provide a brief overview of Macbeth, its plot, and key events. Break the class into small groups and distribute copies of Macbeth to each group. Instruct each group to identify and discuss the key events in each of Macbeth's five acts. Have them create a simple outline or summary of the acts to understand Macbeth's structure.


Comparative Analysis

Discuss the importance of comparative analysis and how it can deepen their understanding of Macbeth. Provide excerpts or summaries from other Shakespearean plays (e.g., Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet). Instruct each group to analyze the Five Act Structure of Macbeth and compare it with the structures of the other plays. Encourage them to consider similarities and differences in plot progression, character development, and thematic elements.


Group Presentations and Discussion

Have each group present their comparative analysis findings to the class. Encourage discussions on what they observed in Macbeth's structure and how it compares to other plays. Facilitate a class discussion to draw conclusions about what makes Macbeth's Five Act Structure unique and how it contributes to the play's impact.

Frequently Asked Questions about Macbeth Five Act Structure

What are the essential elements students should include in a storyboard when summarizing each act of "Macbeth" in relation to the five-act structure?

In a storyboard summarizing "Macbeth," students should capture key events, character interactions, and thematic elements from each act. This could involve visually representing pivotal scenes, including characters' actions and expressions. Captions and brief descriptions should accompany the visuals, providing context for each frame. Additionally, incorporating memorable quotes from the text can help convey the essence of the act.

How can students creatively enhance their storyboards to make them more engaging and informative when analyzing "Macbeth" and its five-act structure?

Creativity in storyboards can be achieved through various means. Students can use artistic elements like illustrations and color schemes to evoke the mood of each act. For instance, they might use darker colors for scenes with a sinister tone and brighter colors for moments of hope or innocence. Moreover, incorporating captions or textual commentary that explain the significance of each scene or character's development adds depth and context to the storyboard, making it more informative.

Are there interactive worksheets tailored to "Macbeth" that actively engage students in critical thinking and analysis of the play's five-act structure?

Yes, interactive worksheets can be designed to actively engage students in analyzing the play's structure. These worksheets may contain questions that require students to delve into the character development, thematic exploration, and dramatic tension in each act. Additionally, they can encourage students to make connections between the acts, explore motifs, and evaluate the impact of key events. Such interactive activities foster critical thinking and a deeper understanding of "Macbeth."

What types of assessment questions or activities can be incorporated into worksheets to encourage students to analyze the five-act structure of "Macbeth" effectively?

Worksheets can incorporate a range of assessment questions and activities to promote effective analysis of the play's structure. These may include questions that ask students to identify and explain the pivotal turning points in each act, analyze the conflicts and character motivations, and explore the consequences of the characters' decisions. Comparative activities, such as examining how earlier acts set the stage for later ones, can help students grasp the overarching structure of "Macbeth." These assessment elements encourage critical thinking and a comprehensive grasp of the play's five-act structure.

*(This Will Start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)
© 2024 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.
StoryboardThat is a trademark of Clever Prototypes, LLC, and Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office