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Activity Overview

In Grades 2-4, students are beginning to transition from the reading level of retelling a book orally, to summarizing lengthier texts orally and in writing. This skill can be challenging with chapter books, because students have to synthesize many details, and think critically about the importance of events. A plot diagram storyboard provides students with a way to organize their thinking and improve their summarization skills.

Consider having students plan their storyboard using a blank template prior to creating the full storyboard online. Students should begin with the narrative in each box before adding character dialogue. This will allow them to focus on the purpose of summarizing, and determining importance, before getting distracted by the details of the storyboard. Students can also be given a set number of frames to use for the storyboard, to help them be concise. After planning on a template, students can compare the important events they chose with a partner, and the class can discuss why different events in the story were included in the storyboard over others.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 2-3

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Parts of a Story

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/3/2] Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/3/5] Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.

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 summary of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

  1. Pick two important events from the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  2. Create an image for each event.
  3. Write a description of each event.


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

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The Mouse and the Motorcycle

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