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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.



The Witch of Blackbird Pond Plot Diagram Example

Exposition

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler leaves her wealthy home in Barbados following the death of her grandfather. Impulsively jumping aboard the ship the Dolphin, she sets out to start a new life with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Wethersfield, Connecticut.


Conflict

Right away, Kit finds that she does not fit in well with the Puritan society of Wethersfield. Her wealthy upbringing and free-spirited ways make it hard for her to adjust to the hard work and strict religious practices of her family and neighbors.


Rising Action

As Kit strives to fit in with Wethersfield society, she works long hours in the kitchen and fields, attends church services, and wins the romantic attentions of William Ashby. Although the villagers begin to accept her, she feels most at home with an elderly Quaker, Hannah Tupper, who is rumored to be a witch. Kit’s best friends turn out to be Hannah, a sailor on the Dolphin named Nat, and Prudence, a young girl Kit secretly teaches to read.


Climax

When many of the villagers come down with a deadly fever, an angry mob tries to attack Hannah Tupper, believing her to be a witch responsible for the illnesses. Kit manages to get Hannah to safety, only to be accused of witchcraft herself. When Kit is put on trial, she is nearly condemned until Nat and Prudence come with evidence to prove her innocence.


Falling Action

When William Ashby fails to defend Kit during her witch trial, she realizes she can never marry him. Instead, William decides to marry Judith, and Mercy gets engaged to John Holbrook. Although Kit is happy for them, she feels unsettled and discontent. At first, she believes she is homesick for Barbados, but eventually she realizes that she misses Nat.


Resolution

Nat returns in the spring with his own ship, the Witch, named after Kit. Kit and Nat plan to get married, allowing Kit to spend her winters in the West Indies and her summers in Connecticut with those she has come to love.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative Arcs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/3] Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/5] Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot
  • [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/7/5] Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/3] Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision

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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of The Witch of Blackbird Pond.


  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.


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Rubric

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)



Plot Diagram Rubric for Middle School
Create a plot diagram for the story using Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Proficient
33 Points
Emerging
25 Points
Beginning
17 Points
Plot Images
Cells include images that convey events in the corresponding stage of the plot. The images represent an important moment and exemplify the descriptions below them.
Cells include one or two images that convey events from an incorrect stage of the plot. Most images represent an important moment and exemplify the descriptions below them.
Cells include three or more images that convey events from an incorrect stage of the plot. Images depict minor and inimportant moments or do not reflect the descriptions below them.
Plot Text
The storyboard correctly identifies all six stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells correctly breaks down the plot events into appropriate stages. The text gives a logical overview of the plot and includes the most significant events of the book.
The storyboard misidentifies one or two stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells breaks down most of the plot events into appropriate stages. The text gives a logical overview of the plot, but may omit some significant events of the book.
The storyboard misidentifies three or more stages of the plot. The text for each of the six cells does not correspond to the events of that stage. Overall plot description is not logical.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar is exemplary. Text contains few or no mistakes.
Text contains some significant errors in spelling or grammar.
Text contains many errors in spelling or grammar.



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