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Activity Overview


In this activity, students will capture the concept of the Five Act Structure by creating a six cell storyboard that illustrates key events in each act. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the acts in order: Prologue, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Denouement.



Romeo and Juliet Five Act Structure Example

Prologue (Exposition)

Like a modern day movie trailer, the prologue for The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet gives the audience a preview of events to come, and give us insight into the characters, setting, and background.

Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents' strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love, And the continuance of their parents' rage, Which, but their children's end, nought could remove, Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

William Shakespeare The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

Act 2: Rising Action

The two lovers meet but cannot be together because of their families' long feud.


Act 3: Climax

After crashing the Capulet party, Tybalt goes after the Montague crew and kills Mercutio. To avenge his friend, Romeo duels with and kills Tybalt - Juliet's cousin. ​ Romeo is banished, but before he goes he gives Juliet a proper wedding night!​


Act 4: Falling Action

Juliet's father requests that she marries Count Paris. However, to escape a second wedding she and Friar Lawrence concoct a plan to make it appear as if she dies. By taking a sleeping potion!


Denouement

The conclusion of The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet culminates with the Friar's version of the lovers' story. Friar Lawrence and the Nurse expound the truth to the Prince, the Capulets, and to the Montagues. In the resolution, the sad tone and moral of the story is evident as the two families agree to reconcile and erect monuments in the lovers' honor.



Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-10

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Type of Activity: The Five Act Play (Dramatic Structure)

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of 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 Romeo and Juliet.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Separate the play into the Prologue/Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Denouement.
  3. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the acts.
  4. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.



Rubric

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



Five Act Structure Rubric (Grades 9-12)
Create a plot diagram for the play using Prologue/Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Proficient Emerging Beginning Try Again
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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Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet





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