Activity Overview

A common use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a novel. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and help students develop greater understanding of literary structures.

Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a novel 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.

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street Plot Diagram Example


On quiet, suburban Maple Street, somewhere in America, the inhabitants notice a meteor-like object fly overhead. After it passes, all electronics and electricity go dead.


A young boy named Tommy tells a story he read about aliens arriving from outer space. Believing his story, the people start to suspect each other of being secret aliens.

Rising Action

One resident, Pete Van Horn, leaves to check the next block over. Meanwhile, Mr. Goodman's car mysteriously starts. Everyone accuses him of being an alien. Steve tries to talk some sense into the mob, but fails. He becomes a suspect as attention is directed to the radio in his basement!


The mob sees a figure coming towards them. Charlie grabs a gun and accidentally shoots Van Horn, who has returned. Suddenly, Charlie's lights go on, and now he is the prime suspect.

Falling Action

Everyone is hysterical. Charlie screams that the real alien is Tommy, the young boy who knew the events before they happened.


In the end, aliens watch the town as it destroys itself. A simple trick by the aliens turned the residents against each other; they themselves were the monsters, not the aliens.

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 visual plot diagram of The Monsters are Due on Maple Street.

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

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of 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/7/10] By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range


(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.

How To Discuss the Role of Themes in Development of the Characters


View Themes Holistically

Ask the students to identify the themes present in the story and view them holistically in order to connect them with wider ideas in the narrative. Viewing themes from a broader perspective will help the students to connect them with different ideas and analyze different relationships.


Discuss issues Between Characters

Talk about the connections between the characters' issues and the ideas. Consider how the interior struggles of the characters relate to a topic, like the "struggle for identity," for example. Students can connect these character conflicts to wider themes and topics.


Talk About Motifs and Symbols

Analyze how the text's symbols and motifs depict or support the topics. Consider how a repeating symbol, such as a bird, may be utilized to represent the subject of "freedom," for instance. Encourage the students to connect these symbols with the characters and how the use of such language is important for the representation of the characters.


Analyze Character Interactions

Analyze how the themes affect the way the characters interact with one another. Talk about if their interactions support or contradict the theme. Ask the students to draw these relationships visually and analyze the impact of these relationships on the development of the narrative and the characters.



Ask the students to reflect on all the information that they have acquired so far and organize this information in an understandable manner. Students can create theme charts and write critical analysis to support their discussion with the help of facts.

Frequently Asked Questions About Plot Diagram for The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

How can students analyze the rising action of the story?

Rising hostility and mistrust among the locals are part of the action. They start to believe that they are the "monsters" behind the weird happenings. Students can analyze the hysteria and mass panic unfolding at this point and connect it with the previous and next parts in the plot diagram.

What is the resolution of the conflict in “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”?

The conclusion exposes that the real "monsters" are mysterious powers controlling what happens on Maple Street. The narrative concludes by suggesting that same pattern may occur elsewhere. It also suggests that the aliens think that humans might be easy to take over as they are themselves responsible for their own tragedies.

How does "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street’s” story add to the overall effect and message?

The narrative is used as a means of examining how people react to fear and uncertainty, with the goal of finally conveying a potent message about the dangers of prejudice and the brittleness of societal order.

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