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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.



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”.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/2] Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/3] Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/5] Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10)


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 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.



Rubric

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



Plot Diagram Rubric (Grades 9-12)
Create a plot diagram for the story using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Proficient
25 Points
Emerging
21 Points
Beginning
17 Points
Try Again
13 Points
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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