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.

Example Tuesdays with Morrie Plot Diagram


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.


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.


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.


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.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

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.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-10

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/2] Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/3] Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/5] Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10)


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

Plot Diagram Rubric (Grades 9-12)
Create a plot diagram for the story using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
25 Points
21 Points
17 Points
Try Again
13 Points
Descriptive and Visual Elements
Cells have many descriptive elements, and provide the reader with a vivid representation.
Cells have many descriptive elements, but flow of cells may have been hard to understand.
Cells have few descriptive elements, or have visuals that make the work confusing.
Cells have few or no descriptive elements.
Textables have three or fewer spelling/grammar errors.
Textables have four or fewer spelling/grammar errors.
Textables have five or fewer spelling/grammar errors.
Textables have six or more spelling/grammar errors.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out. Student has done both peer and teacher editing.
Work is well written and carefully thought out. Student has either teacher or peer editing, but not both.
Student has done neither peer, nor teacher editing.
Work shows no evidence of any effort.
All parts of the plot are included in the diagram.
All parts of the plot are included in the diagram, but one or more is confusing.
Parts of the plot are missing from the diagram, and/or some aspects of the diagram make the plot difficult to follow.
Almost all of the parts of the plot are missing from the diagram, and/or some aspects of the diagram make the plot very difficult to follow.

More Storyboard That Activities

Tuesdays with Morrie

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