The Westing Game Plot Diagram

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Westing Game


The Westing Game Plot Diagram

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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 story. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and helps students develop greater understanding of literary structures.

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: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.


Plot Diagram
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Example The Westing Game Plot Diagram

Exposition

Sixteen people are recruited to live in Sunset Towers, a new apartment building adjacent to the estate of the elderly millionaire, Sam Westing. The new residents have little in common and keep to themselves as they deal with the various stresses of their lives.


Conflict

Shortly after the residents move in, Sam Westing dies and the residents of Sunset Towers are called to a meeting. There, they learn that they have been named as potential heirs in Westing’s will. In order to win the inheritance, they must solve the mystery of his death. The will splits the residents into pairs, each of which receives four cryptic words as clues.


Rising Action

As the Westing heirs rush to solve the mystery, they begin to work together. The heirs learn about each other’s lives and form unlikely friendships. In the process, they discover the identity of Sunset Towers’ bookie, bomber, thief, and mistake.


Climax

The heirs come together with Westing’s lawyer to submit their guesses for Westing’s murderer. When they learn they are all incorrect, they pool their clues and discover that the missing letters of “America the Beautiful” spell out Berthe Erica Crow. Crow turns herself over to the police just as Sandy McSouthers mysteriously drops dead. When the heirs review the strange events, they realize that Sandy was Westing himself.


Falling Action

Turtle leads the heirs in a review of Westing’s will in order to sort out its true meaning. During the review, Turtle alone realizes that Sandy is still alive and the true quest is to seek Westing’s fourth identity. The rest accept that they have lost the game. They receive shares in Sunset Towers and watch Westing’s estate go up in fireworks.


Resolution

Turtle identifies Julian Eastman, the chairman of Westing Paper, as Westing’s fourth identity. She shows up at his address, greets Sandy/Westing, and wins the Westing empire. As the years progress, the residents of Sunset Towers pursue their dreams and find happiness. Turtle marries Theo and takes over Westing Paper.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of The Westing Game.


  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.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

Plot Diagram Template

Template


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Rubric

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