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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.



Example "The Minister's Black Veil" Plot Diagram

Exposition

On Sunday morning, the people in a small, 17th century New England Puritan community are shocked when their minister Mr. Hooper comes to church wearing a black veil over his face. It is made of black crape, and it obscures everything except his mouth and chin.


Conflict

The congregation can’t put their finger on why, but Mr. Hooper’s black veil brings out a very deep-seated horror within each person. Everyone feels like he can see their deepest secrets and sins as he gives his sermon on secret sin. He wears it to a funeral where it should have been appropriate, but it makes the funeral even more frightening for attendees. He also wears it to preside over a wedding, and the bride and groom see it as an evil omen.


Rising Action

Everyone in town talks about Mr. Hooper’s veil, but no one gains the courage to ask him directly about it, except his fiance Elizabeth. She gently tries to persuade him to remove the veil, but he tells her that it is a symbol that he is bound to wear for the rest of his life. When he refuses to remove the veil, Elizabeth leaves him. Mr. Hooper wears it for many years after, and he becomes a comfort to those who are dying and believe that he alone can understand their sins.


Climax

Mr. Hooper eventually becomes known as Father Hooper, and serves until he is on his deathbed from old age. Elizabeth comes to be at his side, along with Reverend Mr. Clark from Westbury. Mr. Clark tries to get Father Hooper to remove the veil before he dies, and Hooper suddenly grabs the veil and holds it tightly to his face. He shoots up in bed with the last of his energy and tells everyone that their faces hold their own black veils.


Falling Action

The people in the room look at each other in fright. Father Hooper falls back with a faint smile on his face.


Resolution

Father Hooper is buried with the veil still on his face.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-10

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise


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 Minister’s Black Veil”.


  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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