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Lesson Plan by Mitchell Zuvela B. Sc., B. Ed.

Plot Diagrams

Pixton Lesson Plan on Plot Diagrams

Make the elements of a story come to life with comics!

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Featured Layout

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout type.

  • Plot Diagram

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings the elements of a story to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on Plot Diagrams
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings the elements of a story to life with comics and storyboards.

Featured Props

Plot Diagrams

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Boat
    Boat
  • Bucket
    Bucket
  • Castle
    Castle
  • Cave
    Cave
  • Clock
    Clock
  • Fire
    Fire
  • Prop Circle Motion
    Prop Circle Motion
  • Prop Grandfather Clock
    Prop Grandfather Clock
  • Road
    Road
  • Spider
    Spider
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Plot Diagrams

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

A Plot Diagram is an essential organizational tool that identifies the key events in a story. Its purpose is to provide a common framework for analyzing written works. Students can use Plot Diagrams to help determine the central ideas of a narrative, trace character evolution, and analyze conflict. The basic shape of a Plot Diagram is pyramidal, which represents the beginning, middle, and end.

  • Beginning: The characters are introduced, a setting is established, and a conflict is identified. (Exposition / Conflict)

  • Middle: The main conflict becomes more complex as the suspense builds towards a climax in which the story reaches a turning point. (Rising Action / Climax)

  • End: The events that lead up to the resolution and the resolution itself. (Falling Action / Resolution)

Opening Discussion

Discuss the key parts of a Plot Diagram with your class. Choose a short story to read that is grade appropriate, or choose a video below found on Youtube to help in identifying the key elements that define the beginning, middle, and end. Have your students draw a Plot Diagram and fill in the key parts that correspond to your video.

Grades 4-7: Donald Duck: The Hockey Champ

Grades 8-12: The Most Beautiful Thing

Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Plot Diagram
    Plot Diagrams 4/5

    View Activity
  • Make a Plot Diagram
    Plot Diagram 6-12

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Create (Extension / Modification)

    Build a Plot Diagram with pipe cleaners and use sticky notes or tabs to label the parts of the diagram.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Fill in all the parts of a Plot Diagram with various details from a fictional story. Provide your class with the Plot Diagram as a starting point for them to write their own story. Students will fill in the missing parts so that a story has a consistent storyline. The story can vary in length from one to several paragraphs. Students can compare the similarities and differences between stories.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Plot Diagrams 1 Plot Diagrams 4/5

Featured Layouts

  • Plot Diagram

Instructions

Create a Plot Diagram as a planning tool to aid in the writing of a short story.

Each panel should include:

  • A title
  • A detailed explanation
  • An appropriate illustration

When complete, check with your teacher to see if they have any suggestions.

Print out your plot diagram to be used as a tool to help you write a short story with a proper plot.

See the rubric below for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Plot Diagrams 4/5

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The plot diagram is focused, has thoughtful details and is insightful. The plot diagram is clear, well developed, and logical. The plot diagram is easy to follow; ideas are correct, but may be basic or simple. The plot diagram discusses some relevant ideas, but may have frequent errors. The plot diagram is hard to follow; ideas are not developed.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is appropriate; lacks variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• simple language; vague and lacks purpose
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• inappropriate use of language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (beginning, middle, end) • proper organization
• sequence is highly effective and has purpose
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• logical sequence
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• consistent attention to sequence
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some attention to sequence
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• no attention to sequence
• panels are missing
Conventions Complete sentences, spelling, punctuation, grammar (e.g.,
use of pronouns; agreement; verb tense
• correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation; may include some errors in complex structures • few errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors do not interfere with meaning • occasional errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors rarely interfere with meaning • several errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors may make parts hard to follow • repeated errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar often make the writing hard to understand
Total

Student Handout

Share this comic with your students to demonstrate the activity without giving away the farm :)

Conflict and Plot in “Cinderella” by Pixton
ExpositionCinderella lives a humble life with her father, and is very happy. However, soon after taking a new wife, Cinderella's father passes away. Main ConflictWith her new husband now deceased, Lady Tremaine and her two daughters take over the house. Rather than welcoming Cinderella into the family, they make her a servant and treat her cruelly. Rising ActionThe Prince, looking to get married, announces there will be a ball for all the ladies in the kingdom to attend. Cinderella plans to go but her stepsisters ruin her dress. As she sits in tears, her fairy godmother appears and gives her everything she needs for a grand experience at the ball. But there is a catch; at midnight, everything will return to how it was before. ClimaxCinderella enters the ballroom and immediately catches Prince Charming's eye. After a night of dancing, the two are in love. Cinderella loses track of time, however, and when the clock strikes midnight, she flees from the ball. Prince Charming is left with nothing but her glass slipper. Falling ActionThe prince is determined to find the mysterious woman from the ball. He sends his men to visit every household in the kingdom and have them try on the glass slipper. The woman whom the shoe fits will be the new princess. DenouementAt last, Cinderella gets a chance to try on the glass slipper and it fits perfectly. Prince Charming knows she is the one he fell in love with at the ball. He rescues her from her wicked stepfamily and they live happily ever after.
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Plot Diagrams 2 Plot Diagram 6-12

Featured Layouts

  • Plot Diagram

Instructions

Create a Plot Diagram as a planning tool to aid in the writing of a short story.

Each panel should include:

  • A title
  • A detailed explanation
  • An appropriate illustration

When complete, check with your teacher to see if they have any suggestions.

Print out your plot diagram to be used as a tool to help you write a short story with a proper plot.

See the rubric below for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Plot Diagram 6-12

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The plot diagram is focused, with advanced use of language/ideas. The plot diagram is accurate, well developed, with consistent use of details. The plot diagram is complete and accurate; lacks consistent use of specific details. The plot diagram is basic; has several errors,or lacks detail. The plot diagram is inaccurate and difficult to follow.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • varies language to develop meaning
• varies sentence structure for effect
• images and characters have impact on the meaning of the panel
• language is clear with some variety
• varies sentence structure
• makes attempts to use descriptive language
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structure with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• some variety in sentence length and type
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (beginning, middle, end) • proper organization
• sequence is highly effective and has purpose
• all panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• logical sequence
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• consistent attention to sequence
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some attention to sequence
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• no attention to sequence
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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