What is a Plot W?: Lessons from "Everybody Knows Tobie"
Lesson 6 of 10
Objective: SWBAT explain the PLOT W by examining a text featuring this plot device, "Everybody Knows Tobie."
Review -- What is a Plot W?
Short Story as Model
Students read "Eveybody Knows Tobie" in pairs, noting the various parts of the story on the Plot W. Here is a brief crib note on the plot:
1.) The narrator wants a job and to be accepted. (down--initial setback)
2.) Tobie explains to him how we can do this, just say that he's Tobie's brother. (up--thing are getting better)
3.) The "gringos" in town almost reject the narrator. (down--a deeper setback)
4.) They accept him because he's Tobie's brother. (up--a seeming triumph).
The story deals with the insidious nature of a town ruled by de facto racism (RL.9-10.2). Both the narrator and Tobie, his brother, want to be accepted by the white townsmen in town for both personal reasons and for reasons (RL.9-10.3)of business (paper route). This is all typified by the question of whether nor not they should be allowed to get their hair cut at Mr. Brewer's barbershop. In the end, the narrator is allowed to do this, but really, it's a hollow victory (RL.9-10.5) and a somewhat ironic connection to the plot W (ends on a high note, but it's ironically sort of bad, anyway).
Today, the students will read the story, and tomorrow, we will discuss its relation to the Plot W as well as the manner in which the writer uses dialogue to move the story forward.
Publication Information (link to a textbook that has this short story)
I ask students to complete the following exit slip individually:
- How do you feel about the ending? Is it a victory or not?
- How does the writer use the Plot W to create a powerful story?
**For homework, the students can begin drafting their larger narratives. They are ready to begin to graph out what their characters will do now that they have been fleshed out and now that we have discussed plot in class!