Tuesdays with Morrie Plot Diagram

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Tuesdays with Morrie


Plot Diagram for Tuesdays with Morrie

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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 Tuesdays with Morrie Plot Diagram

Exposition

After 16 years, journalist Mitch Albom sees his former beloved Brandeis professor Morrie Schwartz featured on an episode of Nightline. Morrie, a once active and spry professor who danced weekly in Boston, has been diagnosed with ALS, a devastating progressive neurological disease. Mitch contacts Morrie and flies out to visit him in his home in West Newton, Massachusetts.


Conflict

While Mitch and Morrie were close during Mitch’s tenure at Brandeis, Mitch has drifted away from the ideals he once had. Now he is wrapped up in his work, the one thing he can control, and in the culture of getting more with more money. Morrie feels the need to tell Mitch his story in a form of a final class, or final thesis, so that he can share what he learns about life and dying from his research – his own demise.


Rising Action

Since Mitch’s paper in Detroit is on strike, he flies out to visit Morrie on Tuesdays. Every week, they cover a different topic that Mitch has written down and Mitch tape records their session, but each week Morrie’s disease becomes increasingly worse. Mitch holds a lot of guilt about the path his life has taken, and he is very reserved with his emotions. Morrie is determined to help Mitch acknowledge his emotions and find a path to living a more meaningful life.


Climax

Mitch receives word from Morrie’s wife to come visit him in late October. As Mitch arrives, he finds Morrie lying in bed, looking very thin and frail, unable to breathe well anymore. Mitch holds Morrie’s hand and Morrie puts it over his heart and cries. Mitch holds him and promises that he will come back next week. As he goes to leave, he realizes that Morrie has finally gotten him to cry.


Falling Action

Morrie falls into a coma shortly after Mitch leaves and passes away the following Saturday. He waited until all of his family had left the room to draw his final breath, and Mitch believes that Morrie did this purposefully.


Resolution

Mitch contacts his brother in Spain, who is battling pancreatic cancer, and rather than trying to recapture the past, he builds a new relationship with him. Mitch finds new meaning in his life from what he learns from Morrie, and he puts aside his pursuit of money in order to focus on his family and living a meaningful life.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of Tuesdays with Morrie.


  1. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  2. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  3. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.

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