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Activity Overview

An exceptional way to help your students follow a story is to have them track the events from it. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of a plot, it also reinforces major events, which helps students develop greater understanding of how the events fit together to provide the overall structure of the story.

This example identifies six main events:

  • Mr. Popper admires the penguins and explorers of the North and South Pole.
  • Admiral Drake sends Mr. Popper a surprise: a pet penguin from the South Pole.
  • Mr. Popper gets Captain Cook a companion, Greta.
  • Captain Cook and Greta have ten children, which is very costly for the Poppers.
  • The Poppers and the penguins join the theater and perform in cities across the country.
  • Mrs. Popper returns to Stillwater, while Mr. Popper joins Admiral Drake and the penguins on an exploration to the North Pole.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-5

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Diagram a Process

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/5] Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

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 timeline sequence of events for the plot of Mr Popper's Penguins to show the structure of the story.

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher.
  2. Identify six main events throughout the book.
  3. Describe each event in a cell on the timeline.
  4. Illustrate the event with appropriate characters, scenes, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.


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

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Mr. Popper's Penguins

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