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Activity Overview


A common use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a novel. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and help students develop greater understanding of literary structures.

Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a novel with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the novel in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.



Of Mice and Men Plot Diagram Example

Exposition

Off the Salinas River, in California, two migrant workers, George and Lennie, travel to a ranch for work.


Conflict

Lennie and George are friends. However, Lennie is developmentally disabled, and because of his childlike mentality, the two friends often find themselves in trouble.


Rising Action

After leaving a previous job because Lennie mistakenly grabbed a woman by her dress, the two are forced to find a new ranch. Trouble seems to follow them; Curley, the boss’s son, immediately takes a dislike to Lennie and picks on him. The reader meets Curley’s wife, who creates problems by constantly seeking the men's attention. Despite these problems, the boys make friends with the ranch hands, especially Candy, who offers up a large sum of money towards getting their own farm. They feel closer than ever to achieving their dream of "living off the fatta the land".


Climax

Lennie was given a puppy by Slim and is in the barn tending it. Curley’s wife enters and they begin to talk. Without realizing it, Lennie grabs her hair, because he likes soft things. When she gets nervous and tells him to stop, he panics and breaks her neck.


Falling Action

Lennie was given specific instructions by George that if anything bad happened he should hide near the river. George meets him there.


Resolution

George shoots Lennie before Curley can find him. The men cover it up. The reader feels the sorrow of George having to kill his best friend.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 1 (Introducing / Reinforcing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [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


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 Of Mice and Men.


  1. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  2. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  3. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.



Rubric

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



Plot Diagram Rubric (Grades 9-12)
Create a plot diagram for the story using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Proficient
25 Points
Emerging
21 Points
Beginning
17 Points
Try Again
13 Points
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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