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 helps 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 Legend of Sleepy Hollow" Plot Diagram Example


Ichabod Crane is the schoolmaster in Sleepy Hollow, a town beset by supernatural occurrences. A local favorite is the tale of the Headless Horseman, the ghost of a Hessian mercenary who lost his head.


Ichabod and rival Brom Bones want to marry Katrina van Tassel, the flirtatious daughter of a wealthy landowner. After receiving the brushoff from Katrina, despite previous encouragement, Ichabod leaves a social gathering in an agitated state.

Rising Action

Ichabod goes home during the witching hour. After hearing many ghost stories at the party, again and again he imagines a ghost or goblin in almost everything he sees. Finally he sees an enormous hulk - the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.


The Headless Horseman matches Crane's pace, and finally chases him. Ichabod tries to spur on Gunpowder, a borrowed horse, to reach the bridge quickly.

Falling Action

Ichabod makes it to the bridge and turns to see if his pursuer will disappear. The Headless Horseman throws his head at Ichabod, who falls off his horse and passes out.


The next morning, the townspeople find Crane's hat and his few belongings, as well as a smashed pumpkin, by the bridge.

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 Legend of Sleepy Hollow".

  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.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-5

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/4/1] Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/5] Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.


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

Event Arch Rubric
Create a visual Event Arch that summarizes the story. The storyboard should have six cells: Introduction, Problem, Events, Climax, Problem is Resolved, and Conclusion. Below each cell, type in a description of that part of the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Cells include images that help to tell the story and do not get in the way of understanding. Descriptions match the images.
Descriptions do not always match the images.
Descriptions are missing or do not match the images.
Each of the six cells represents a different part of the story. The cells are in order from beginning to end.
Two cells or fewer are out of order, or the storyboard is missing important information.
Important information is missing and/or three or more cells are out of order.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is mostly accurate. Mistakes do not get in the way of understanding.
Spelling is very inaccurate and hinders full understanding.
Text is difficult to understand.

More Storyboard That Activities

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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