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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 novel. 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 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.



Example Plot Diagram for The Pearl

Exposition

The story opens in a remote seaside village where a young family of three live: Kino, Juana, and their infant son, Coyotito. Although they are poor, the family lives a relatively happy life.


Conflict

One day Coyotito is bitten by a scorpion and Kino and Juana do not have the money for treatment. So, Kino goes out in the ocean in search of a pearl.


Rising Action

At home Juana prays that her husband will find a pearl bigger than any other and her prayers are answered. Kino finds such a large pearl that it attracts attention from all the villagers. After Coyotito is cured, Juana and Kino end up fighting off thieves, robbers, and themselves when the greed and lust for the pearl become unbearable.


Climax

The two inevitably decide they must leave. Juana decides to go home to gather their belongings while Kino goes to ready the canoe. However, they are each met with disaster: Kino finds the canoe destroyed and Juana finds the house has been set on fire. Narrowly escaping, the family hides at Juan Tomas's house until it is safe to leave for the capital to sell the pearl.


Falling Action

The family leaves to travel up the mountain to get to the capital city. Kino realizes that they are being followed and he tries to create diversions for the trackers in the form of false trails. When he finally finds the trackers he attempts to attack them. Yet, at the same moment both Coyotito and a gunshot are heard. After Kino kills the trackers and rushes back to the cave, he finds that his son has been shot.


Resolution

Carrying their dead child, they emerge from the mountain back at their village, where the community silently looks on. Kino then takes the pearl and throws it as hard as he can back into the ocean.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-10

Difficulty Level 1 (Introducing / Reinforcing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from 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 Pearl.


  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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