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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a visual plot diagram of The Westing Game.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
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.
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.
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