Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Plot the Oysters' Peril!

Kerry McMillen


After reading the narrative poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll, students use a comic strip format to study the organization and presentation of ideas and supporting details in the plot sequence of the poem.


The student uses a graphic organizer to clarify meaning of text.

The student determines a text's major ideas and how those ideas are supported with details.

The student paraphrases and summarizes text to recall, inform, or organize ideas.

The student analyzes ways writers organize and present ideas (for example, through chronology, comparison-contrast, cause-effect).


-Poem- “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, Lewis Carroll, THE LANGUAGE OF LITERATURE, McDougal Littell, Evanston, Illinois, 1997
-Manilla paper
-Colored pencils
-Overhead projector and markers
-Comic strip samples


1. Collect samples of comic strips from newspapers.
2. Read the poem and list major plot events.
3. Enlarge one of the samples and make an overhead transparency.
4. Prepare a transparency and markers for recording plot sequence of the poem.


Prior Knowledge – Make sure students understand the following terms: sequential, chronological order, and plot sequence.

1. Have each student bring in a comic strip with 4-8 frames. At home, students cut the frames apart, place in envelopes, and bring to class. (The teacher may want to have extra strips available for those students that did not bring one in). Show an example of a 4-8 frame comic strip on the overhead projector. Read orally to the students. Cut the original frame apart, mix them up, and call on a student to read orally. Generate a discussion of the importance of chronological order and the sequence of events (plot).
2. Students then exchange their comic strips with a partner. Students take the individual frames, read them, and place in chronological order on their desks. Students check with a partner to make sure the order is correct.
3. Explain that the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” is a narrative poem and contains many of the elements of prose fiction, such as plot.
4. Explain to students that most poetry is created to be spoken. Ask students to read the poem aloud, one stanza per student.
5. Upon reading the poem, generate a discussion of the major plot events and record on the overhead projector.
6. Ask a student to read the events out of order to reinforce the importance of chronological order.
7. Students paraphrase the poem’s major events by writing and illustrating a comic strip depicting the events in chronological order.
8. Students then Pair-Repair-Share. Students form peer groups to edit, revise, and share their work.


Rubric for assessment of comic strip:

Full Accomplishment (score of 3)-- Students have successfully written and illustrated a comic strip that reflects the major events of the poem in chronological order.

Substantial Accomplishment (score of 2)--Comic strip correlates fairly well with the plot of the original version, but may show lapses in organization or sequence.

Little or Partial Accomplishment (score of 1)--Comic strip shows lack of organization and omits major plot events of the original version.


Students may write and draw comic strips to analyze the plots of short stories as well as other narrative poems.

Teacher may use the comic strips brought in by the students for additional lesson plans on predicting endings, identifying irony, etc.

This lesson can easily be modified for all learning styles.
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