"The Tell-Tale Heart" Plot Diagram
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
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.
Example "Tell-Tale Heart" Plot Diagram
The narrator is introduced. He wishes to prove his sanity to the readers despite having killed a man over his deformed eye.
Major Inciting Conflict
The narrator lives in the same building as an old man who has a disturbing eye. The narrator says that it is deformed, looking like a vulture's eye with a film covering it.
Over the next eight days, the narrator plots to kill the old man to get rid of the "eye". Each night he enters the old man's room with a lantern until he sees the eye.
Finally, one evening, the old man wakes up and screams. Then the narrator pulls the man off the bed and smothers him with his mattress until he can no longer hear the old man's heart beating.
Summoned by a neighbor, the police arrive, citing that someone reported a scream. The narrator tries to cover up by saying it was him that screamed, and that the old man was out of town.
The story ends when the narrator believes he hears a ticking noise that grows louder and louder. He believes that it is the sound of the old man’s heart and confesses to the police.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)
Create a visual plot diagram of "Tell-Tale Heart".
- Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
- Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
- Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.
(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)