Students can make a plot diagram of the events from a novel. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of a plot, it also reinforces major events and helps students develop greater understanding of literary structures.
Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a novel with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the novel in the sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ponyboy Curtis (Greaser), the main character, is introduced as he is going to the movies when Socs, members of a rival gang, jump him. He is saved when a group of fellow Greasers come to his rescue.
There is a rivalry between two major gangs: the Socs and the Greasers. The Socs are wealthy, while the Greasers are poor.
Johnny kills a Soc to protect his friend. This forces Johnny and Ponyboy to flee. While they are gone, tension mounts between the gangs. Johnny and Ponyboy take refuge in an old church. One day the church catches fire with young children inside. Johnny attempts to save them, but is badly injured.
Johnny dies from his injuries.
A major battle between the gangs happens, and Dallas dies. Ponyboy was knocked unconscious and wakes up after several days, at home. He then reconciles with his brother Darrel.
In the end, Ponyboy recovers from the emotional and physical trauma that has occurred. The novel ends with Ponyboy writing the opening line.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a visual plot diagram of The Outsiders.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
| Try Again |
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.
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