Activity Overview

Literary conflicts are often taught during ELA units. Building on prior knowledge to achieve mastery level with our students is important. An excellent way to focus on the various types of literary conflict is through storyboarding. Having students choose an example of each literary conflict and depict it using the storyboard creator is a great way to reinforce your lesson!

Conflict is not only present, but is also an important recurring element in this story. Much of the conflict stems from the paranoia and hysteria the people create while they are searching to blame someone.


The residents of Maple St. are unable to control their fear. This leads to Charlie shooting Peter Van Horn.


It seems the only person not joining the mob, was Steve. Throughout the story, he manages to keep a level head, and tries not to jump to accusing anyone. He remains logical and rational, trying to come up with a reasonable explanation. This runs very counter to the rest of the neighborhood.


Paranoia causes neighbors to turn on each other. A perfect example of this is how Charlie turned on Les when his car mysteriously started!

Template and Class Instructions

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

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict in The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify conflicts in The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.
  3. Categorize each conflict as Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, or Character vs. Technology.
  4. Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the play.
  5. Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/1] Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/3] Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot)
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/9] Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history


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

Types of Literary Conflict Rubric
17 Points
14 Points
11 Points
Try Again
8 Points
Conflict Identification
  • Student identifies correct major conflict and uses strong, clear textual evidence to support choice.
  • Student includes at least two clear examples of plot points that are a direct cause of the major conflict category.
  • Student identifies correct major conflict and uses few or unclear details to support their choice.
  • Student includes one clear example of plot points that are a direct cause of the major conflict category.
  • Student identifies incorrect major conflict, and uses some details from the text to support their choice.
  • Student includes only vague or poorly explained examples of plot points that are a direct cause of conflict.
  • Student does not attempt to identify major conflict or identifies incorrect major conflict with no explanation.
  • Student does not include any examples of plot points that are a direct cause of conflict.
  • Understanding Outcome
    Student clearly shows the outcome of the conflict and its effects on the protagonist with evidence from the text.
    Student shows the outcome of the conflict and its effect on the protagonist, but some evidence is unclear.
    Student shows the outcome of the conflict, but does not examine its effect on the protagonist and uses some vague textual evidence.
    Student does not clearly show the outcome of the conflict or use textual evidence.
    Student includes at least one quote, with proper punctuation and page #, from the text that deals directly with the events presented in the storyboard.
    Student includes at least one quote, but it is not directly relevant to the events presented in the storyboard, or has an error in punctuation, page #, etc.
    Student includes quote, but it contains errors or is not at all related to events presented in the storyboard.
    Student does not include a quote.
    Storyboard includes all required characters and clearly names them. Goes above and beyond by adding details or names of additional characters.
    Storyboard includes all required characters, clearly named.
    Storyboard includes protagonist and antagonist but leaves out other required characters.
    Storyboard does not include the names of required characters.
    Student clearly shows effort to convey the setting the scene of the book
    Student attempts to convey setting and scene of the book, but lacks some clarity.
    Student does not clearly convey the setting and scene.
    Student makes little or no attempt to convey the setting or scene.
    Spelling and Grammar
    Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
    Student makes a minor error in spelling and grammar.
    Student makes several minor errors in spelling and grammar.
    Student makes many errors in spelling and grammar; little attempt at spellchecking.

    How To Analyze the Role of Setting in Shaping the Plot of Monsters are Due on Maple Street


    Analyze the Major Factors

    Ask the students to analyze the major factors that play a significant role in shaping the setting of the story. These factors can be the time period, the physical environment, the culture and values, and other things such as the role of technology. Students can connect these factors which form the setting with the development of the narrative.


    Investigate the Physical Setting

    Encourage the students to take into account the neighborhood's condition, the design of the residences, and any unique features as this information can shed light on the way of life and values of the neighborhood. Students can also draw out the setting as described in the story or watch the old episode to get a better gist of what the author is trying to convey.


    Analyze the 1960s Period

    Even though it isn't stated directly, "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" is thought to have taken place around the early 1960s. Students can reflect on the impact of this time period on the plot and how things could have been different if this story had taken place in the early 2000s or late 1800s.


    Consider the Technological Significance

    The people in the 1960s were not aware of any major technological advancements but the author does mention some gadgets of that time period such as cars or radios. Students can analyze how the occupants' sense of risk is heightened by the lack of technology during the power outage.


    Engage in Group Discussions

    After students have analyzed a few factors, they can engage in discussions with their peers and teachers to share their opinions and any particular insight they found during the analysis. This discussion will help the students understand different perspectives and reflect on their own analysis.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Literary Conflict in The Monsters are Due on Maple Street

    What is the "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street’s" primary external conflict?

    The primary external issue is the growing distrust and paranoia on Maple Street. They turn on one another, blaming one another for the power loss and claiming to be aliens. This external conflict is supported by the distrust among the residents and the feelings of mass hysteria and panic.

    What is the impact of the power outage on the conflicts in the story?

    The initial external conflict that starts a series of events is the power outage. The locals feel uneasy and afraid as a result, which makes them suspicious and untrusting.

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