What are the Pieces of the Puzzle? Collecting Story Elements

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SWBAT determine important characters, setting, and/or plot in their historical fiction book.

Big Idea

Students make note of the important parts of the story to help them make connections between the parts later.

Introduction, Modeling, and Active Engagement

10 minutes

We all know how important it is to be able to recount the important parts of the story. Students usually do that work at the end of the story. However, when they do it at the beginning of the story, they can make connections between the important elements and some minor elements of the story. 

After, I remind them of this activity, I model how to do it early on and then elicit their help from the class read aloud. 

I start by recounting what are obvious facts, such as the main characters, and adding a few details for each. 

After writing down a few ideas, I ask the students what else I can add. I call on a few students to share their ideas while I write them down in a way that I expect them to later. 

Independent Practice and Closing

20 minutes

After helping me recall and record story elements from our class read aloud, students spend some time writing down story elements from their own books. 

They record character, setting, and plot ideas using a box and bullet organization style. 

To conclude the activity, students meet with their book club group. With their group, they share what information they collected and add to their notes and possibly make connections between characters or setting that they were confused about or didn't already know. Group work helps them develop their perspective and requires them to use details from the book to defend their position.