Creating a plot diagram not only helps students learn 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 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 Once. Students should identify major turning points in the novel such as the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Exposition: The story takes place in German occupied Europe during World War II and the Holocaust. Felix is a 10 year old boy in 1942 who flees the orphanage with the hope that he will find his parents. As Felix begins to realize the truth about what’s happening around him, he meets new friends and the man who will help to save his life.
Rising Action: Felix runs away from the orphanage. He meets Zelda when he rescues her after her parents have been killed and her house has been burned. The two children are rescued from a death march by a man named Barney, who hides them and other children in a basement.
Climax: When Felix returns from getting medicine for Zelda, he realizes that the Nazis have discovered their hiding place. Barney and the children are taken and forced into train cars.
Falling Action: While in the train car, Felix notices rotten wood and kicks a hole in the train. Many people jump out, risking being injured or even shot for the chance of freedom
Resolution: Felix and Zelda jump out of the train and survive.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Create a visual plot diagram of Once.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards