"The Purloined Letter" Summary

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Purloined Letter


The Purloined Letter Plot Diagram

Example



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Activity Overview


A common activity for students is to create a plot diagram of the events from a story. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of a plot but to reinforce major events and help students develop greater understanding of literary structures.

Students can create a storyboard that captures the concept of the narrative arc in a story by creating a six-cell storyboard which contains the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell have students create a scene that follows the story in a sequence using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.


Plot Diagram
( Plot Diagram Lesson PlanBuy PosterBuy PDF )

Plot Diagram Example of “The Purloined Letter”

Exposition

The Prefect of the Paris police goes to see C. August Dupin, a private investigator who recently helped him solve “The Murders of Rue Morgue”. His new case is about a stolen letter!


Major Inciting Conflict

A letter was stolen from a powerful lady; the main suspect is Minister D, a man with whom Dupin has bad blood.


Rising Action

The Prefect searches the minister's apartment and comes up empty. When he returns to see Dupin, the private eye gives the prefect the letter.


Climax

Dupin explains how he was able to think like the thief and recover the letter.


Falling Action

Dupin supplanted the letter with an identical one, which reads, “So baneful a scheme, if not worthy of Atreus, is worthy of Thyestes.”


Resolution

Dupin is able to solve the case and get revenge for a wrong committed against him by the minister.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of "The Purloined Letter".


  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.

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The Purloined Letter






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