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Activity Overview


Have your students create a plot diagram of the events from a story on Storyboard That. 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.

In a five-cell storyboard, have students represent the major plot points of this story in sequence using exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. They should use the description boxes to explain what is happening during each part. Facial expressions and different coloring can really bring out the drama of these moments!



Example Plot Diagram for "The Story of an Hour"

Exposition/Conflict

Mrs. Mallard is sickly and suffers from a weak heart. Her sister, Josephine comforts her, concerned that the news she is about to hear will kill her.


Rising Action

Josephine and Richards, a friend of Mr. Brently Mallard, gently reveal that Mr. Mallard has been killed in a railroad disaster.


Climax

Mrs. Mallord, though grieving, realizes that she is now free from a marriage in which she wasn't truly happy. So though she mourns the death of her husband, secretly she's elated.


Falling Action

After Mrs. Mallard comes to the conclusion that she is now free to live a happy life, she and Josephine walk down, just as Mr. Mallard, unharmed by the tragic accident, comes through the door.


Resolution

Mrs. Mallard collapses, dead. The Doctor said "that she had died of heart disease - of joy that kills." He thought she was so overjoyed to see him that she died. In reality, she realized her "freedom" was never to be, and that killed her.



Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of "The Story of an Hour".


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  3. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  4. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.

Lesson Plan Reference

Switch to: Common CoreArizonaCaliforniaColoradoFloridaGeorgiaIowaKansasMarylandMassachusettsNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioOklahomaPennsylvaniaTexasUtah

Rubric

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


Plot Diagram Rubric for Middle School
Create a plot diagram for the story using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Proficient
33 Points
Emerging
25 Points
Beginning
17 Points
Plot Images
Cells include images that convey events in the corresponding stage of the plot. The images represent an important moment and exemplify the descriptions below them.
Cells include one or two images that convey events from an incorrect stage of the plot. Most images represent an important moment and exemplify the descriptions below them.
Cells include three or more images that convey events from an incorrect stage of the plot. Images depict minor and inimportant moments or do not reflect the descriptions below them.
Plot Text
The storyboard correctly identifies all six stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells correctly breaks down the plot events into appropriate stages. The text gives a logical overview of the plot and includes the most significant events of the book.
The storyboard misidentifies one or two stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells breaks down most of the plot events into appropriate stages. The text gives a logical overview of the plot, but may omit some significant events of the book.
The storyboard misidentifies three or more stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells does not correspond to the events of that stage. Overall plot description is not logical.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is exemplary. Text contains few or no mistakes.
Text contains some significant errors in spelling or grammar.
Text contains many errors in spelling or grammar.


How To Analyze the Role of Setting in “The Story of an Hour”

1

Research Historical Accuracy

Students can analyze the setting of the story and perform some research to analyze if it is based on fiction or reality. It can be a little complex to research these specific details so students can talk with experts, for instance, people who have been studying gender roles or have generally more knowledge regarding the culture and society of that time period.

2

Analyze Narrative Development

Ask the students to analyze how the narrative develops over the course of the story. Students can reflect on the role of the setting in this development and how without this plot the narrative could have taken a different direction. Encourage the students to discuss alternate settings and how they can impact the resolution and other elements of the narrative.

3

Analyze the Environment

The Mallard home is the setting for a large portion of the narrative. Examine how the household environment reflects the pre-feminist gender norms and expectations. Students can also look at sample pictures of these houses to understand the point of view of the characters.

4

Connect with Themes

Consider how the environment contributes to the themes of freedom and repression. Encourage the students to focus on the comparison between confined house walls and an open window and their representation in the story. Students can analyze all these themes, symbols, and motifs present in the story and link these concepts with the theme to gain a deeper understanding.

5

Reflect and Summarize

Encourage the students to reflect on all the information they have gathered so far and present their analysis in the form of a report or a presentation in front of the class. Students can even work on this analysis in groups and different groups can analyze different aspects for a collaborative learning environment.

Frequently Asked Questions About "The Story of an Hour" Plot Diagram

What is one of the most important parts of the narrative?

The most important part of the story focuses on Mrs. Mallard's response to learning of her husband's passing, her feelings of realization, and her moment of liberation after sorting out her feelings.

What is the climax of the story?

The turning point is when Mrs. Mallard discovers she has the ability to live independently and autonomously when by herself in her room. She is overjoyed by this realization and already starts to dream of a free life despite her husband’s death.

Which part represents the irony in the story?

The falling action depicts the irony of the situation when Mrs. Mallard has sorted her feelings and is being comforted but when she later discovers her husband is alive and well, she falls to the ground and everyone else is unaware of the reason behind this reaction.




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