Activity Overview

Literary conflicts are a major element often taught during ELA units. Storyboarding is an excellent way to focus on types of literary conflict.

Using a traditional three-cell storyboard with titles and descriptions, students can identify three different types of conflict that are described in the text. Then they can visually represent an example of each conflict, along with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the particular category of conflict. Students can label each type in the title cell and describe how it is shown in the description cell.

In the example storyboard above, each cell contains a particular type of conflict. The type of conflict is displayed, and visually represented with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the specific category of conflict.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:


Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict in The Crucible

Student Instructions:

  1. Click “Start Assignment”.
  2. Identify conflicts in The Crucible.
  3. Categorize each conflict as either Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, Character vs. Supernatural, or Character vs. Technology.
  4. Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the story.
  5. Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1] Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [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/9-10/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically


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

Types of Literary Conflict Rubric
Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict from the story. Support your choices with evidence from the text.
Proficient Emerging Beginning Try Again
Conflict Identification
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.
Understanding Outcome
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.

How To Discuss the Character vs. Society Conflict in The Crucible


Explain Different Types of Conflicts

Begin by discussing different types of literary conflicts in class. Start with external and internal conflicts and later on move to more detailed conflicts such as character vs. self or character vs. nature when students are more familiar with the concept. Give everyday use examples for each conflict for instance, for character vs. character ask the students how many times they fight with their friends or family each day.


Identify the Character vs. Society Conflicts in the Story

Analyze characters who best represent the conflict in order to identify them. John Proctor, Giles Corey, and Reverend Hale are just a few prominent figures from "The Crucible" to consider. Describe how each character deviates from society's standards due to their ideas or conduct. For instance, John Proctor's integrity and Reverend Parris’ reputation are important characteristics they want to maintain in front of society.


Examine Character Motivations

Examine the driving forces behind the characters' behavior. Ask the students to think about what motivates people to defy social expectations and discuss the repercussions of their disobedience as well. Connect these character motivations with real life and ask the students about their interaction with society and if they had ever defied or confined to society’s expectations.


Connect With Other Conflicts

Ask the students to identify other conflicts present in the story and connect them with each other. Guide the discussion using questions such as Are the consequences of one conflict impacting the other or are there any interconnected conflicts in the story?


Connect With Themes

Link the character versus society struggle to the play's overarching themes. For instance, the battle draws attention to the risks associated with power abuse, conformity, and mass panic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Literary Conflict in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

What is the key conflict in “The Crucible” that drives the story?

The internal and external battle between many people and the restrictive cultural rules and frenzy surrounding the Salem witch trials constitute the main literary conflict in "The Crucible." Students can reflect on the consequences and the reasons for this conflict to gain a deeper understanding of the story.

Which characters in the story are the driving force behind the conflicts?

John Proctor, Abigail Williams, Reverend Hale, and Judge Danforth are a few of the significant figures who take part in the internal and external conflicts of the story. These characters all experience internal and external tensions because of their own views and the Salem witch trials and accusations. Students can also compare the conflicts experienced by people during the Salem witch trials and the conflicts experienced during the 1950s communist hunt.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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