Subject: ELA (English Language Arts)

Lesson Length: 45 mins - 1 hour

Topic: Plot of a Story/Story Arc

Grade Level: 6

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will examine a story to determine how the plot unfolds and how the characters change based on the plot.

Know Before You Start:

  • Students will need to understand the concept of plot and how fictional texts are written with a story arc. An example is provided, but you may want to supplement with additional visuals to demonstrate this concept. 

  • Students will need a fictional text to read and evaluate for this lesson.

Hook: Have students look at the sample comic of the plot diagram explaining the parts of the story arc.

  • Discuss the development of plot in a story and its importance.
  • Share examples of common stories and have students identify the components of the plot.
  • Ask students to consider how the characters change in each of the stories based on the plot.


  • Provide a fictional text for students to read.
  • Have students discuss the plot and how the characters change based on the plot.
  • Ask students to create a four-panel comic showing the story arc of a story they have read.
    • Panel 1: Caption “Exposition”. Students introduce the main characters.
    • Panel 2: Caption “Rising Action”. Students depict an important event related to the conflict of the story.
    • Panel 3: Caption “Climax” or “Turning Point.” Students depict the most exciting or tense part of the story e.g., Luke fighting Darth Vader in Star Wars.
    • Panel 4: Caption “Falling Action.” Students show how the conflict was resolved or how the characters changed during the story.

Closure: Use a Gallery Walk for students to see the work of others and discuss the plot diagrams. A Gallery Walk can be completed by students either walking to each device to view the comics or walking around to view printed copies of the comics.


  • Provide sentence starters for students.

  • Pre-teach necessary vocabulary for ELL students.

  • Allow students to work with a peer model.

  • Provide a variety of texts with the necessary range of reading levels for your classroom.

  • Allow students to sketch out their ideas before creating their comic in Pixton.

  • Complete a comic with the whole class/small group before moving to independent comics.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.

  • Additional examples of a plot diagram/story arc.

  • Fictional text material for students to read.

Suggested Story Starters: