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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 book. 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.

Even true stories, like memoirs, can have a plot arch. Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc of The Sunflower with a three-cell storyboard, containing the major parts of the plot diagram: the Exposition, the Climax, and the Resolution or a six-cell storyboard with Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. For each cell have students create a scene that shows their understanding of that part of the book and summarize their understanding.



The Sunflower Plot Diagram Example

Exposition

Simon and his friends Arthur, Josek, are prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp. They work cleaning up medical waste at a converted army hospital for wounded German soldiers. One day, on his way to work, Simon is stopped by a nurse, and taken to the bedside of a dying, young Nazi soldier.


Climax

Confused why he is there, Simon asks Karl what he wants with a Jew. Karl proceeds to tell him a story about atrocities he committed during his time serving as an SS soldier, primarily, how he set a building on fire with over many Jewish families inside, then shot them as they attempted to jump out the windows to escape the flames.


Resolution

After telling Simon what he had done, Karl asks for Simon’s forgiveness. Karl felt that the only way to die in peace was to clear his conscious and ask forgiveness from a Jew. However, Simon leaves the room without answering him. That night, Simon discusses the moral issue with friends in his barracks. The next day, when he returns, Karl is dead.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

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 Sunflower.


  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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