# The Elements That Make up a Plot

Lesson Summary:[Core: Read. Lit.5] Students examine the elements of a plot with a graphic organizer. Students use the organizer to plot their story ideas. Advanced students write a story plot that includes a scene change or flashback right before the climax. Struggling students identify the elements of a plot in personal stories and familiar stories.
Lesson Objectives:
The students will know…
• the elements that make up a plot.
• that characters often change by resolving conflicts.
The students will be able to…
• identify and understand plot elements.
• compare and contrast plots.
• use a plot organizer to write a short story.

Learning Styles Targeted:
Visual / Auditory / Kinesthetic/Tactile
Pre-Assessment:
1)Have students take a piece of scratch paper and write the numbers 1–4.
2)Write on the board: beginning, middle, climax, and conclusion. Explain that these are the elements for a plot.
3)Read each line of the Robin Hood Plot* and ask the students to write the words beginning, middle, climax, or conclusion beside the number for the line you read.
4)Review the answers with students and discuss how the story moves from one plot element to the next.
5)Note students who have trouble identifying the elements of the plot and story order, and who are reluctant to contribute to the discussion.
Materials Needed: Plot Graphic Organizer and Story Starters PowerPoint Presentation*; paper and pencils
Procedure:
Presentation
1)Tell students that they will be learning about the elements that make up a plot for a story or play. Display slide 1 of the Plot Graphic Organizer and Story Starters PowerPoint Presentation OR draw the Plot Graphic Organizer on the board.
2)Distribute the Plot Graphic Organizer to the students, and have them fill in the elements of a plot as you explain each one. When you have finished explaining the plot elements, you can display slide 2 to show the correctly labeled Plot graphic organizer.
a)Beginning (often called the exposition) is where the setting and characters are introduced.
b)Middle (or Rising Action) is where the characters face a conflict or problem.
c)Climax (or Turning Point) is the high point of the story when the characters begin to solve the problem.
d)Conclusion is how the problem or conflict is resolved.
Guided Practice
3)Have students identify the plot elements of these well known stories and movies:
e)Cinderella
f)Pinocchio
g)It’s a Wonderful Life
h)Huckleberry Finn
i)Mulan
j)Little Orphan Annie
4)Next, have students suggest books and movies. Write their suggestions on the board, and have students identify the plot elements.
5)Lead a discussion that compares and contrasts the plots students have examined. Ask students how characters change by solving their problems.
Independent Practice
6)Divide the class into small groups of three. Display or project the Story Starters found on slide 3 of the Plot Graphic Organizer and Story Starters PowerPoint Presentation.
7)Have each group select one of the story starters and work together to write a plot that finishes the story. Remind students to use their Plot Graphic Organizers to help plan their story.
8)Allow time for student to present their plots to the class.
Closing Activity
9)Ask students to write a sentence telling the climax of their favorite story. Use this sentence as an exit pass from class.
Materials Needed: Paper and pencils
Procedure:
1)Tell students that writers build excitement and suspense in their stories by adding delays just before the turning point of the story. Scene changes and flashbacks are two of the techniques that writers use to build suspense. Explain that a flashback is when the story is interrupted to tell events that happened in the past. Scene changes can involve what is happening to another character in another setting. Each technique should add important information that builds toward the climax. Have students work together to write a plot for a story with one of these suspense builders.
2)Allow time for students to present their story to the class.
Struggling Learner
Materials Needed: Familiar stories or stories recently read in class
Procedure:
1)Have a volunteer retell a story that has happened to them or someone they know. Guide students to identify the plot elements of the story.
2)Then ask students to work individually to identify the plot elements of familiar or recently read stories. Have students tell how the characters changed by solving their problem. Review and discuss their responses.
3)Tell students to pick one plot to share with the class.

*see supplemental resources