Lesson: Plot Structure: Problem & Solution

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Lesson Objective

Students will use a graphic organizer to detail the problem and solution in a fiction story.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Yesterday we used an acronym to find the five elements of story.  Today, we will identify the problem and solution of a story to help us better understand the important information in a story.

Teach (5-10 mins):
Students are seated on the carpet with a partner.  Students will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  When we read it is important to think about the problem and solution in a story.  A problem is an issue that needs to be solved and the solution is how the problem is solved.  For example, if I locked my keys in the car that would be a problem because I need to drive to work.  One solution to that problem is to call a locksmith and have my car unlocked.  As readers we need to pay close attention to problems and solutions in stories so we can focus in on the main elements of a story.

Model (5-10 mins):
Teacher reads aloud story.  I use Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats.  Teacher reads aloud first half of book.  While I was reading I noticed that Peter has a problem, he is not happy that his sister is taking all of his stuff.  He seems to be upset that he no longer is the only child and now has to share everything.  He is so upset he takes his chair outside instead of staying inside with his family.  I will add that Peter is upset his sister is taking all of his belongings to our chart (refer to worksheet). 

I notice that the first event after the problem is introduced is that Peter moves his things outside. I will add this to the events part of our chart.  Let’s keep reading to see how Peter solves his problem.

Teacher finishes reading until the end of the book.  I noticed while reading that Peter’s problem was solved.  He decided he would rather share with his sister and be inside with everyone instead of being alone.  He spends time with his dad and helps him paint the chair pink for his new sister.  This is a big change for Peter and it solves his problem because he is no longer upset that he has to share.  I will add that to our chart.  Now that you have watched me model problem and solution it’s your turn to try.

Active Engagement (15 mins):
Now that you have practiced identifying the problem and solution in a story you are ready to try on your own.  Students will return to their seats to read the story The Crow and the Pebble (attached).  Students will complete a graphic organizer to turn in as an exit slip during this time.  To differentiate this lesson the teacher can read aloud the story for struggling readers. 

Exit Slip (3-5 mins): During independent reading time, students should be filling in the problem/solution graphic organizer.  This organizer will be collected to determine which students need more practice with the skill.

Reflection: This is a good lesson to bridge the gap between finding the problem and solution in a story on their own.  The use of the graphic organizer helps students feel confident that they didn't miss part of the story and also gives them an aid to help with reading.  The Crow and the Pebbel is a very simple problem and solution story that is a good starting place for future lessons with more difficult texts.

Lesson Resources

The Crow and the Water Jug   Reading Passage
Problem/Solution Graphic Organizer   Activity


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