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Activity Overview

Learning to summarize a story is a skill students will use throughout their life. Starting with the Beginning, Middle, and End, students will learn to identify important scenes in stories in a way that creates an easy to understand summary. In this activity, students will create a 3-cell storyboard that summarizes Tristan’s story in the parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. Teachers may choose to ask students to illustrate a traditional plot diagram as a way to differentiate this assignment for ambitious students, having them separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky Summary Example

Beginning: Tristan's best friend Eddie is killed in a bus accident. With the hope that it will help him heal, his parents send him to Alabama for a month with his grandparents on their farm. The first night there, a mysterious creature named Gum Baby sneaks in the window and steals Eddie's journal. Tristan goes after her.

Middle: Tristan smashes a bottle against a tree and a hole opens up, sending him and Gum Baby into a whole new world. They land in the Burning Sea. Tristan meets people and creatures from stories he knows, and he learns he must be a hero and save MidPass from evil. Several adventures take place.

End: Tristan defeats the iron monsters and gets the Story Box from Uncle C. He learns that Brer Rabbit is really Anansi the trickster in disguise. As a punishment, Anansi is made to sew the hole in the sky with his web, and join Tristan in the human world to help him with his storytelling project. Tristan returns to the farm with his stories and Anansi stored in a smartphone, and begins to record his first story from Eddie's journal.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a visual plot summary of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky.

Student Instructions:

  1. Separate the story into the Beginning, Middle, and End.
  2. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  3. Write a short description for each part of the story.

Lesson Plan Reference

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

Beginning, Middle, and End Summary
Create a storyboard that summarizes the story. The storyboard should have three cells - one for each part. Below each cell, type in 1-2 sentences that describes that part of the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Each of the three cells represents a different part of the story. The cells are in order from beginning to end. Sentences accurately summarize each part.
One cell is out of order, or the storyboard is missing important information.
Important information is missing and/or two or three cells are out of order.
Cells include images that help to tell the story and do not get in the way of understanding.
Some of the images help tell the story. Descriptions do not always match the images.
Images do not make sense with the story.
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.

How To Create a Plot Diagram for “Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky”


Introduce Plot Diagrams

Introduce the concept of plot diagrams to students and help them understand the significance of these diagrams. Students can also try to familiarize themselves with the components of plot diagrams and how they can precisely summarize the entire story by dividing it into several parts. Share an example of a plot diagram with students so that they can learn more easily.


Identify the Components

Once the students are more familiar with the components of a plot diagram, they can try and apply these components to Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky. Ask the students to divide the story into exposition, rising action, conflict, falling action, climax, and resolution. This process is more complicated than the BME model hence it is more suitable for students of higher grades.


Summarize the Events

After the students have divided the narrative into different sections for a plot diagram, the next step is to help them summarize the text that they will be including in the diagram. Guide the students to focus on major events and significant plot twists and details that shape the story in each section. Students can exclude the details that have no significance for the scenes before or after.


Include Visuals

While making a plot diagram it is important to include visual elements as it can make the narrative more interesting and easier to understand. Students can use storyboarding for this purpose. These storyboards can be hand drawn or made with the help of online resources suitable for students such as Storyboard That.


Share and Appreciate

Appreciate the students' accomplishments and efforts to wrap up the exercise. Think about putting their plot diagrams on display in the classroom so they may showcase their work and interact with their classmates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Creating a Plot Summary (BME) for “Tristan Strong”

How do the events at the end of the narrative shape the process of character development and overarching themes?

Tristan's journey from a bereaved youngster to a hero is highlighted at the end, which makes it a significant section of the story. Tristan accepts his ancestry, tackles his worries, and integrates himself into the mythological realm of Alke, reinforcing themes of identification, bravery, and the power of narrative. The ending also provides a closure on all the unresolved conflicts and challenges present throughout the story.

What is the significance of the setting for the plot?

A crucial component of the story is the setting, which includes both the imaginary world of Alke and the actual state of Alabama. Conflicts between characters and the general tone of the narrative are influenced by this setting.

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