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Activity Overview


Like The Jungle Book, The Graveyard Book uses an episodic structure, jumping from year to year and depicting Bod’s various experiences growing up. Some of the episodes are merely entertaining, while others contribute to important themes, character growth, or conflict resolution. Have students use storyboards to identify important episodes in Bod’s life. Below each episode, ask them to explain its significance. Simplify or expand this activity by using anywhere from 1-5 storyboard cells.


Important Episodes in The Graveyard Book

Befriending Scarlett

Scarlett is the first living friend that Bod makes. Their friendship begins when they are five and is redeveloped when they are young teens. Scarlett's friendship is significant because it drives Bod toward maturity. Through Scarlett, he discovers the secret of his past. Her safety also motivates him to successfully fight the Jacks of all Trade. Finally, the experience of her friendship leads him to desire life outside the graveyard.


Captured by Ghouls

Being captured by ghouls teaches Bod an important lesson. Suddenly, Bod comes to respect Mrs. Lupescu and the training she gave him. His narrow escape from the ghouls teaches him to trust the adults who guide and protect him. It also opens his eyes to the dangers that surround him.


Fighting Mo and Nick

Fighting Mo and Nick reveals Bod's kind heart and sense of justice. He sets out to haunt them in order to put an end to their bullying. At the same time, his interactions with them convince him that he cannot truly enjoy life in the real world as long as he is still a marked man. By interacting with them, he finally gets noticed by the outside world, jeopardizing his safety.


Meeting Liza

Bod's early interactions with Liza reflect his goodness and his willingness to think for himself. Although he is told not to venture into Liza's disreputable section of the graveyard, Bod judges that Liza is no threat. Instead, he goes out of his way to get her a gravestone and bring some happiness to her melancholy existence.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

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
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/5] Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style


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.)





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