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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.



The Cay Plot Diagram Example

Exposition

Phillip and his parents are Americans living on the Dutch island of Curaçao in the Caribbean Sea. Life in Curaçao has become more dangerous now that the second world war has started and the Germans have begun attacking the oil refineries on the island.


Conflict

When Phillip and his mother attempt to return to the U.S. for safety reasons, their ship is torpedoed by Germans. When Phillip wakes up after being hit on the head by debris, he finds himself on a raft in the middle of the ocean with an old, black man and a cat. A few days later, Phillip loses his sight as a result of his head injury.


Rising Action

After landing on a deserted cay, Phillip and Timothy struggle to get along due to Phillip's anger and racism. Gradually, however, Phillip learns to appreciate Timothy and the two work together to survive on the island. Timothy teaches Phillip how to get food, water, and fire in spite of his blindness.


Climax

In July, a hurricane hits the cay. Timothy is prepared for it and secures their knives and fish hooks, then ties Phillip and himself to a tree. They survive the hurricane, but the storm weakens Timothy and he dies just a few hours later.


Falling Action

Phillip buries Timothy and continues to live on the cay, using the survival skills that Timothy taught him. After the hurricane, he rebuilds a brush pile for a signal fire and lights it when he hears a plane flying overhead.


Resolution

After a pilot spots Phillip's signal fire, a ship is sent to rescue him and he is reunited with his parents. Three operations later, he regains his sight. Phillip returns to life as normal, but he never forgets his friend and protector, Timothy.



Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/3] Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/5] Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/3] Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot)
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/5] Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/3] Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision


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 Cay.


  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 for Middle School
Create a plot diagram for the story using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Proficient
33 Points
Emerging
25 Points
Beginning
17 Points
Plot Images
Cells include images that convey events in the corresponding stage of the plot. The images represent an important moment and exemplify the descriptions below them.
Cells include one or two images that convey events from an incorrect stage of the plot. Most images represent an important moment and exemplify the descriptions below them.
Cells include three or more images that convey events from an incorrect stage of the plot. Images depict minor and inimportant moments or do not reflect the descriptions below them.
Plot Text
The storyboard correctly identifies all six stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells correctly breaks down the plot events into appropriate stages. The text gives a logical overview of the plot and includes the most significant events of the book.
The storyboard misidentifies one or two stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells breaks down most of the plot events into appropriate stages. The text gives a logical overview of the plot, but may omit some significant events of the book.
The storyboard misidentifies three or more stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells does not correspond to the events of that stage. Overall plot description is not logical.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is exemplary. Text contains few or no mistakes.
Text contains some significant errors in spelling or grammar.
Text contains many errors in spelling or grammar.




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