Activity Overview

Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a work with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the story in sequence using: Title, Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. The Tale of Despereaux has many different subplots, so students may interpret these parts very differently.

Plot Diagram Example for The Tale of Despereaux

Exposition: Despereaux is not like other mice. He lives in a castle and falls madly in love with the Princess. However, loving a human is wrong, and Despereaux is banished to the dungeons to live with the rats. What will become of this special mouse?

Rising Action: When he arrives in the dungeon, Despereaux meets Roscuro. Roscuro was blamed for the Queen's death, and the Princess was the cause of his dimise. Roscuro dispises the very woman whom Despereaux loves, and plans revenge.

Climax: Despereaux manages to escape the dungeon. At the same time, Roscuro kidnaps the Princess with the help of a lonely servant named Miggory Sow. He promises Mig she will become the new princess, but of course this isn't a promise he will keep.

Falling Action: Miggory realizes that Rosucro has tricked her, and she and Despereaux team up to rescue Princess Pea. She is saved and returned to the castle.

Resolution: Despereaux and Princess Pea are allowed to be friends, and Despereaux and Roscuro are allowed in the castle. Miggory discovers that her father was a prisoner in the dungeons and he is set free. He treats his daughter like a princess and they all live happily ever after.

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.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a visual plot diagram of The Tale of Despereaux.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Separate the story into the Title, Exposition, 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 using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Write a short description of each of the examples in the plot diagram.
  5. Save and submit storyboard.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-5

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Parts of a Story

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.


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

Event Arch Rubric
Create a visual Event Arch that summarizes the story. The storyboard should have six cells: Introduction, Problem, Events, Climax, Problem is Resolved, and Conclusion. Below each cell, type in a description of that part of the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Cells include images that help to tell the story and do not get in the way of understanding. Descriptions match the images.
Descriptions do not always match the images.
Descriptions are missing or do not match the images.
Each of the six cells represents a different part of the story. The cells are in order from beginning to end.
Two cells or fewer are out of order, or the storyboard is missing important information.
Important information is missing and/or three or more cells are out of order.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is mostly accurate. Mistakes do not get in the way of understanding.
Spelling is very inaccurate and hinders full understanding.
Text is difficult to understand.

More Storyboard That Activities

The Tale of Despereaux

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