Day Two: Understanding Elements in Uncle Jabez Story through Plot Diagramming

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SWBAT analyze how incidents in a story propel the action, characters, and decision of a main character.

Big Idea

Citing Success with the Development of a Story From Beginning to End

Warm-Up: Card Match Up

10 minutes

What is the plot of a story? How can I cite examples of plot from a story? To engage students in answering these questions, they will work in groups of 4 to match literary element cards. I will allow students to pick their group without knowing the task that they will need to complete. I love the element of surprise in this activity because students tend to pick the most studious students when self-selecting groups to complete lesson tasks.

It is time to hook students into the lesson! Students will work through connecting fictional elements to their definitions. The fastest group will be rewarded for their world record speed in putting all pieces together. The group(s) with all the correct answers will also be rewarded for their retention in recalling elements of plot. In the end, groups are recognized for the effort put into successfully completing the activity and teaching themselves about plot. With prizes in hand, students will copy their answers (Student notes on literary elements) in their notebooks to make reference back to the elements as they complete the plot diagram in a future part of this lesson.

Building Knowledge: The Understanding of Plot

7 minutes

I will stress the importance of the plot in fictional stories since this is how the series of events in a story unfold. It is now time to complete a Plot Diagram Template of the story read yesterday in class. New literature can also be introduced to teach plot diagramming. I chose to use the same story since it relates to the unit’s theme and topic of journeys that people took to establish America.

I review the plot diagram handout and ask students to complete the plot diagram in the following order: exposition, resolution, climax, rising action, and falling action. The reason an order is established is to aid students in moving from simpler concepts of how the story begins and ends to more complex concepts such as discovering what event creates a turn in the story. Check out my plot diagram template instructions video to hear more about the instructional decisions behind students doing a plot diagram and what it ultimately does for their comprehension!

With the climax being the hardest element to discover in a story, students tend to mistake it as another element plot in the story. What I have learned from past years of teaching plot is that the connotation of the word impacts how individuals select the climax in stories. In my classroom, climax is described as the event that creates the resolution of the story. Once students go from the beginning, ending, and turning event of the story, the can easily recall the events that occurred before and after the climax of a story.

Independent Practice: Plotting the Events in a Fictional Story

30 minutes

It's now time to put the hook definitions to work! Students will work in pairs to complete the plot diagram chart on the Uncle Jabez - Pilgrim Ficition Story. I will allow students to work in pairs to fill in the appropriate information for each level of how the plot unfolds in the story. Students will be timed during this activity to leave room for discussion around the climax of the story since this will be the most challenging part for students to locate within the story. After time is up, a student pair will discuss their Student Plot Diagram chart under the ELMO. During this time, I will encourage students to question the accuracy of the information if what reads on their individual paper differs from the group presenting out to the class. Opportunities are given for students to discuss their work in class so they can become comfortable with speaking informally about aspects of the curriculum studied in class. This continued practice will aid students in being confident when giving opportunities to present major research findings in the classroom to peers.