Creating a plot diagram not only helps students learn 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. In this activity, students will create a visual plot diagram of major events in New Kid. Students should identify major turning points in the novel such as the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Exposition: Jordan is a 12 year old boy who lives in Washington Heights and goes to a prestigious school in Upper Manhattan. He struggles to fit in at his new school as one of the only kids of color, while also trying to stay true to his neighborhood roots and his desire to go to art school someday.
Rising Action: Jordan meets Drew, another African American boy, with whom he has a lot in common. The two boys and Liam, Jordan’s “guide” turned friend, begin hanging out.
Climax: While Andy and Drew are arguing in the cafeteria, Andy slips on an apple and Ms. Rawle blames Drew. All that has bubbled up inside of the boys comes out, and they stick up for themselves.
Falling Action: Ms. Rawle finds Jordan’s sketchbook and goes through it, accusing Jordan of attacking the school by saying negative things. Jordan points out that everything he is writing and drawing about is true, and that’s the problem.
Resolution: Jordan’s artwork makes the cover of the yearbook, and he feels proud. Everyone signs each other’s yearbooks and says goodbye for the summer. Jordan is actually excited to return next year.
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Objective: Create a visual plot diagram of New Kid.
Grade Level 4-6
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards