Activity Overview

Creating a plot diagram not only helps students learn the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and helps students develop a greater understanding of literary structures. Students will create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc of a selected myth. In this activity, students will choose, or teachers will assign, a Norse myth to create a plot diagram for. Students should identify major turning points in the myth such as the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.

Norse Myth Plot Diagram Example

Exposition: Odin and Frigg had twin sons, Balder and Hod. Balder, who was the god of summer, sunlight, and forgiveness, was popular and well loved. Hod, on the other hand, had a much darker presence. Blind and the god of winter and warriors, he was quiet and not well known.

Conflict: Loki, the god of trickery, deceit, and shape-shifting, was envious of the attention that Balder received; he wanted him dead. Meanwhile, Balder was having dark and scary dreams about his pending death.

Rising Action: To protect her son, Frigg sent her servants to roam the earth, asking all things, both living and not living, to promise not to harm Balder. The mistletoe, which was too far out of reach, was the only thing they did not promise. Frigg told an old woman, who was really Loki in disguise, of her plan to keep her son safe.

Climax: At a party of the gods, the young gods took turns throwing things at Balder, and nothing ever touched him. When it was Hod's turn, the arrow that he threw, which was really the mistletoe that Loki had disguised, hit Balder in the heart and killed him.

Falling Action: When they tried to push Balder's funeral ship out to sea, it was too heavy. They also tried to beg the underworld for his release, but he was denied when one stubborn giant named Pokk would not agree to weep for him.

Resolution: While trying once again to push the boat, a giantess watching from the hill rode down on a wolf and helped push Balder's boat out to sea.

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.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a visual plot diagram for a Norse myth.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Separate the story into the Title, Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  3. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Write a short description of each of the examples in the plot diagram.
  5. Click “Save and Exit” to submit your storyboard.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/3] Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [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
Create a visual Plot Diagram that summarizes the story. The storyboard should have six cells: Title, Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. Below each cell, type in a description of that part of the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Cells include images that help to tell the story and do not get in the way of understanding. Descriptions match the images.
Descriptions do not always match the images.
Descriptions are missing or do not match the images.
Each of the six cells represents a different part of the story. The cells are in order from beginning to end.
Two cells or fewer are out of order, or the storyboard is missing important information.
Important information is missing and/or three or more cells are out of order.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is mostly accurate. Mistakes do not get in the way of understanding.
Spelling is very inaccurate and hinders full understanding.
Text is difficult to understand.

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Norse Mythology

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