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English - Resource of the week

The Story Graph

The Story Graph

What is it?

The Story Graph resource plots the shape of a "typical" literary or film narrative. A second, advanced graph shows Gustav Freytag's theory of how a five-act play develops, superimposed on Aristotle's own simple theory from Poetics.

How can it be used?

- The first graph is designed as a discussion point with younger students on how they think a narrative usually appears - you could start by asking them to draw their own answer to the question "What does a typical story look like?"

- Use the graph to write a story - pin each section to the part of the graph it relates to.

- They could then plot a graph based on one of their own stories and compare this with the original graph.

- The graph is there to be disputed, to be disproved and to be embellished - pupils should not assume that it is set in stone.

- Different genres may produce different graphs, so they could plot the text you are studying, or a film or even an episode of EastEnders.

- The advanced graph is a good way into discussing the craft of writing a play, in particular for those studying Shakespeare, and it teaches them some really fancy words!

Try this resource with your pupils and give us your feedback.

Adam Webster

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