In This Activity
Storyboarding is an excellent way to focus on types of literary conflicts.
Having students create storyboards that show the cause and effect of different types of conflicts strengthens analytical thinking about literary concepts. Have your students choose an example of each literary conflict and depict them using the storyboard creator. In the storyboard, an example of each conflict should be visually represented, along with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the particular category of conflict.
Examples of Literary Conflict in “The Black Cat”
MAN vs. SELF
The narrator is battling alcoholism, which also sends him into rages of violence against his pets and his wife. After he gouges Pluto’s eye, he is wracked with guilt, which eventually turns to anger, leading him to hang Pluto. The guilt continues as he is unable to accept the affections of the second eyeless cat, and his anger continues to be an obstacle he cannot overcome.
MAN vs. NATURE
The narrator is so confused, guilt-ridden, and miserable that he comes to see the cats as his enemies. The second cat does eventually get the better of the narrator, however, by revealing the murder of his wife, and finally bringing justice to the narrator’s evil deeds.
MAN vs. MAN
The narrator regularly takes out his anger and drunken violence on his wife, but when she tries to stop him from killing the black and white cat, she crosses a line that he will not stand for. In a rage, he kills her for stopping him from putting an end to his misery with the cat.
Template and Class Instructions
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict in “The Black Cat”.
- Identify conflicts in “The Black Cat”.
- Categorize each conflict as Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, or Character vs. Technology.
- Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the story.
- Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.
Lesson Plan Reference
- [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
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/6] Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
Student identifies correct major conflicts and uses strong, clear textual evidence to support choice.
Student identifies correct major conflict and uses few or unclear details to support their choice.
Student identifies incorrect major conflict, and uses some details from the text to support their choice.
Student does not attempt to identify major conflict or identifies incorrect major conflict with no explanation.
Student clearly shows the outcome of the conflict and its effects on the protagonist with evidence from the text.
Student shows the outcome of the conflict and its effect on the protagonist, but some evidence is unclear.
Student shows the outcome of the conflict, but does not examine its effect on the protagonist and uses some vague textual evidence.
Student does not clearly show the outcome of the conflict or use textual evidence.
Storyboard includes all required characters and clearly names them. Goes above and beyond by adding additional details.
Storyboard includes all required characters and clearly names them.
Storyboard includes protagonist and antagonist but leaves out other required characters.
Storyboard does not include the names of required characters.
Student clearly shows effort to convey the setting the scene of the book
Student attempts to convey setting and scene of the book, but lacks some clarity.
Student does not clearly convey the setting and scene.
Student makes little or no attempt to convey the setting or scene.
Spelling and Grammar
Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
Student makes a minor error in spelling and grammar.
Student makes several minor errors in spelling and grammar.
Student makes many errors in spelling and grammar; little attempt at spellchecking.
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