Tom Sawyer Summary

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Plot Diagram

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


Plot Diagram
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Example The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Plot Diagram

Exposition

Tom Sawyer lives in St. Petersburg, Missouri with his Aunt Polly, cousin Mary, and brother Sid. Tom is a mischievous twelve-year-old with a vivid imagination. He routinely skips school and chores in favor of playing pirates, robbers, and other adventures with his friends.


Conflict

During one of Tom’s midnight adventures with his friend Huck, the two witness Injun Joe murder Dr. Robinson. When they discover that Muff Potter has been arrested for the murder, they are too afraid to reveal the truth.


Rising Action

When Injun Joe disappears, Tom returns to his old ways. He and his friends run away to Jackson’s Island and return days later to attend their own funeral. Later, they spy Injun Joe returned in disguise with a secret treasure. Fascinated, Huck stays in town to watch Joe, while Tom goes on an outing with Becky Thatcher to McDougal’s cave.


Climax

Huck overhears Injun Joe’s plans to kill the Widow Douglas. He runs for help just in time to save her. Shortly afterward, Tom spots Injun Joe in the cave.


Falling Action

The Widow Douglas takes in Huck and cares for him while he is sick. Tom and Becky escape from the cave, and Judge Thatcher seals it up, unwittingly trapping Injun Joe and causing his death by starvation.


Resolution

Tom and Huck uncover Injun Joe’s treasure in the cave. Between their adventures, heroism, and newfound wealth, the two have become a celebrated pair in St. Petersburg.




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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.


  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.

Plot Diagram Template

Template


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