The Catcher in the Rye Plot Diagram

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Catcher in the Rye


Catcher in the Rye - Plot Diagram

Example



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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. By creating their own The Catcher in the Rye summary, students can grasp the novel both as a whole, and by its individual key events.

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
( Plot Diagram Lesson PlanBuy PosterBuy PDF )

Example The Catcher in the Rye Plot Diagram

Exposition

Holden opens the novel by telling a story that happened to him last Christmas. He has been expelled from his fourth boarding school, the people around him are all phonies, and he needs to kill a few days before going home to tell his parents the bad news about school.


Conflict

Holden becomes increasingly manic. His brother Allie passed away from Leukemia three years before, and it seems that Holden has unresolved guilt and complicated grief over Allie’s passing. He spends a few days in New York, trying to find a way to belong, but ends up isolating himself more.


Rising Action

After being punched by a pimp named Maurice, Holden goes on a date where he expresses he just wants to run away. His date, Sally, doesn’t take it well, and Holden starts to unravel even more. He goes home to visit Phoebe, where he tells her he wants to be a “catcher in the rye”; metaphorically, he wants to save children from losing their innocence.


Climax

After spending the night in Grand Central Station, Holden decides he’s going to hitchhike out West. He leaves a note for Phoebe at her school to meet him at the museum. She shows up with her suitcase; she’s going with him. Holden won’t let her, and Phoebe gets upset.


Falling Action

Phoebe and Holden go to the zoo and then a park, where Holden buys her a ticket to ride on the carousel. As she rides around, he sits on a bench in the falling rain and watches her, finally bursting into tears.


Resolution

Holden returns to the present, revealing he’s in some sort of medical institution. He’s been evaluated, and his doctors are planning on sending him back to school in September. Holden finds that he misses a lot of people, including those he called “phonies”.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of The Catcher in the Rye.


  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.

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