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 Moon is Down Plot Diagram


A small town in northern Europe is invaded by a nameless occupying force. George Corell arranged it, and now the townsmen are being forced to mine the coal mine for the occupiers. Colonel Lanser wants this occupation to go as smoothly as possible, but Mayor Orden knows that his people don’t like being conquered.


Colonel Lanser’s men are facing increasing hostility from the townspeople. Captain Bentick is killed, and after the execution of Alex Morden, the silent revenge of the people seeps out as they sabotage the mining efforts. Lanser seeks to bring them under his control with Orden’s help, but Orden refuses to cooperate.

Rising Action

As the hostility increases, so do the soldiers’ paranoia about the town they are occupying. Men are escaping from the town and fleeing to England. Mayor Orden tells the Anders boys to tell the English to drop dynamite so they can fight back, and they do a few weeks later. Lanser knows he has to bring this spirit of rebellion under control, especially since the townspeople are killing his soldiers at any chance they get.


After the parachutes with the dynamite drop, Corell, who survived a kidnapping and murder attempt by the Anders boys, arrives and tells Lanser that he has received authority from the Capital. He informs Lanser of Orden’s cooperation with subversive actions in the town, and Lanser concludes he needs to arrest Orden and Doctor Winter, the local historian and physician.

Falling Action

After their arrest, Lanser pleads with Mayor Orden to tell his people to stand down. He hopes that the threat of the execution of the town’s two leaders will deter any more violence. However, while Orden is slightly anxious about his own death, he begins to recite from Socrates’ Apology, and takes heart in the fact that while he may die, other leaders will emerge. The Mayor is an office, and it will continue even if he is not present.


An explosion goes off, and Lanser knows he must follow through with executing Orden and Winter as punishment. Orden finishes his recitation of Apology, with resolve that the debt of his death will be paid by the people as they continue to fight their oppressors.

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 Moon is Down.

  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 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


(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.
25 Points
21 Points
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.
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.
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.

More Storyboard That Activities

The Moon is Down

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