The students will complete a Plot Quick Quiz to assess their retention on the elements of plot. This will allow me to gather a formal assessment of their ability. It will also allow me to see what areas of plot I need to reteach.
Pass out the quick quiz and allow the students about five minutes to complete it. I will go over the answers as a class-so the students can receive immediate feedback on their own retention. This will allow them to set a goal for their own learning.
I am expecting the students to find success with this quiz because it is a quick refresher on the terms and definitions. It is simple application and should boost their confidence and help prepare them for today's lesson.
We have spent three days studying plot. I have guided them through a variety of texts, using different modalities of presenting the text as well as different levels of text complexity. At this point, I feel the students have developed their skills to try the apply the skill on their own. I will use guided practice today to simply help to refresh them on the steps used to identifying plot.
I will pass out the Plot Structure diagram and review each piece. I will ask students to write the definition of each part plot down on the back of the chart, in their own words. They have just been exposed to the definitions on the quiz. By having the students explain the terms in their own words, they will be pulling up all the information they have retained about each part. This will help to solidify what is retained.
I will next have the students share their definitions with three other people. To do this, I will use a strategy called Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up. This strategy is great to use for a lot of reasons. First of all, it gives the students an opportunity to be social. They are up, moving, talking, and interacting. It also gives them a chance to hear the viewpoints and ideas of their peers. This is important because it may present a concept to them in a way they did not think of or that I did not present.
To do the strategy, I inform the students they are to stand up, raise one hand, and walk around the classroom. The first person they make eye-contact with becomes their partner. They students can high-five their partners and begin sharing their thoughts. I also remind the students of the expectations before we begin. They are to be respectful and remain on topic.
Once the students are done, I have them return to their seats and we share a couple thoughts as an entire class.
I will use the story "The Snake Chief" by Kathleen Arnott. The story is found in our reader, Reader's Journey. This story is a folktale written at grade level. We will read the story aloud as a class. I like to read the story aloud to stop and check for comprehension. Also, this story is written at a 6th grade level, and I do have some students whose independent level of reading is at a fourth grade. By reading it aloud, I am able to guide the comprehension of the text. I will stop to check for understanding and prompt the students to mark the text, identifying the parts to plot. It is an interesting and engaging story that many students will connect to other folktales they know. The familiarity of the story will assist the students with comprehension and allow them to focus on analyzing the text for plot. The students really come alive with the events in the story because it is so exaggerated and imaginative. It really captures and excites them.
Knowing the students will struggle with identifying the climax, I will remind the students to identify the conflict of the story and predict what they think the climax will be in the story. This story has a very extensive rising action, so it is important for students to focus on starting with the climax. They can fill in the rising action and falling action later.
After we finish reading the story aloud, I will allow them to work with the text and plot chart. At this point, I will pull any students who are struggling over to provide some prompting or guidance as they work. It can be helpful to give the students options for the parts of plot and have them match them to the plot chart. I know I will have to work with a few students on the rising action. This story has a lot happen before the climax, so I will need to assist some students with summarizing the events.
I will have the students turn the plot charts in once they have finished or take it home for homework to finish.
After working with plot for three days, I will have the students do a Self-Evaluation Plot of their skills. I will pass out the self-evaluation and use it as a tool to build my next lesson. It will also help the students take responsibility for their own learning.
Even though we have been working on plot for a few days, the students will not be 100 percent ready to tackle this skill. It is a skill that will need to be practiced continuously with the increase in text complexity. I will expect the kids to feel pretty good about the skills, but know they still need some practice.