Creating a plot diagram not only helps students learn 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. In this activity, students will create a visual plot diagram of major events in Towers Falling. Students should identify major turning points in the novel such as the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Exposition: Deja and her family have recently moved into a homeless shelter. It is the beginning of the school year at Deja’s new school in Brooklyn, and Deja’s fifth grade teacher tells the class that they will be learning about what happened on September 11th. Deja has no idea what happened on that day, and everything changes when she finds out.
Rising Action: Deja and Ben watch a video of the attack on the Twin Towers. Deja cannot believe that she didn’t know about anything that happened, and she decides to go through Pop’s suitcase. The contents of the suitcase suggest that Deja’s father experienced 9/11 first hand.
Climax: Deja and Ben skip school and take the subway to Manhattan. They visit the September 11th Memorial and Deja meets people who are grieving over their lost loved ones.
Falling Action: When Deja gets home, her father isn’t mad. He tells Deja about his September 11th story. He tells her of his guilt and the physical and emotional toll that the event has taken on him. Deja tells Pop that he is a hero. He is her hero.
Resolution: Deja and her family begin forming a more open and honest bond. They will be moving out of the homeless shelter and into subsidized housing. Deja’s eyes have opened to the importance and relevance of history and how it impacts all people in one way or another.
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Objective: Create a visual plot diagram of Towers Falling.
Grade Level 4-6
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
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.