Teaching Plot with a Picture Book... with a freebie! | Crafting Connections
Receive tips, freebies, and resource updates when you subscribe to my newsletter!

Teaching Plot with a Picture Book... with a freebie!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
What is the first ELA topic you address each school year? When I co-taught in 5th grade classrooms, we always began by teaching PLOT ELEMENTS. I would introduce the topic with my PowerPoint on the first day, but on the second day I would dig out a picture book!

When teaching students about plot elements, I highly recommend creating a plot diagram anchor chart for a picture book you've read with your students. This blog post contains a lesson idea and a free student printable!

Picture books are perfect for teaching plot elements in grades 4-6. As we all know, upper elementary and middle school students still love picture books. Another benefit is that they are short- in one class period you can read an entire picture book and plot the story on a plot diagram. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, Margie Palatini is my go-to author when I am looking for picture books to use with my upper elementary students, so I chose one of her hilarious books to use in this plot lesson.


Before class, I draw a basic plot diagram on an anchor chart (the black line only). Then, as soon as class begins, I ask the students to recall what they learned yesterday to help me label the various parts of the plot diagram.

Next, I explain that I am going to read aloud a picture book to them, and when we are done, we are going to plot the story on our anchor chart. (This is also when I show them the book cover and tell them that Margie Palatini is my all-time favorite author of picture books because I am constantly laughing out loud when I read her books… which they are about to witness for themselves! I tell them that most kindergartners and first graders would enjoy this book, but a lot of the humor would “go over their heads”. As fifth graders, though, I think that they will really enjoy this book and fully appreciate the author’s humor. This usually causes my students to sit up a little taller and they become very good listeners! (Amazon affiliate link follows.)

After we finish the book, students help me write sentences that summarize the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of the book on the anchor chart.


Plot Diagram Anchor Chart: When teaching students about plot elements, I highly recommend creating a plot diagram anchor chart for a picture book you've read with your students. This blog post contains a lesson idea and a free student printable!


Finally, I give each student the exit ticket shown below. (Click HERE to download it for FREE!) I also set the anchor chart facedown on a table until all students have finished their exit tickets.

I ask students to independently label each box on the plot diagram with its formal name, and write a short definition to explain what typically happens during each part of the plot. After class, I scan the exit tickets to check for understanding. Students who completed the exit ticket activity with ease are allowed to tackle my plot task cards independently the next day, while the classroom teacher and I work with small groups of students who found the exit ticket more challenging. (Typically, the classroom teacher quickly meets with students who had one or two minor errors on the exit ticket, while I work with students who appear to need a higher level of support.) The plot tri-folds pictured at the end of this post is my go-to resource for working with a small group.

If you are looking for additional plot activities to use with your upper elementary and middle school students, I invite you to visit my TpT store and check out my resources for teaching students about plot. Click on any of the images below, or click HERE to view a complete list.

These plot task cards include four original short stories! Students complete a plot diagram for each narrative.

Use this plot PowerPoint to teach your students about plot elements. After being introduced to the elements of a plot diagram, students will read a short story and fill out a plot diagram. It includes a companion handout!

These four plot tri-folds target the skill of analyzing the plot progression in a book, story, or reading passage. Use these plot elements tri-folds over the course of 4 days to provide targeted instruction on this topic.


Thanks for stopping by!





Pin for future reference:
When teaching students about plot elements, I highly recommend creating a plot diagram anchor chart for a picture book you've read with your students. This blog post contains a lesson idea and a free student printable!

4 comments:

  1. I love picture books that older kids can relate to. I'm checking out books by this author right now -

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Some of my favorites include Bad Boys (and its sequel Bad Boys Get Cookie... there is another called Bad Boys Get Henpecked that I haven't yet read), Piggie Pie (and its sequels, Zoom Broom and Broom Mates), Sweet Tooth, Goldie and the Three Hares, and Bedhead.

      Delete
  2. Perfect timing! I am working on PLOT this week! I am thankful my school library had this book. I will be using this lesson! :) Thanks a million, Deb!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never heard of this book- but I'm anxious to get it and read it! This was a very good blog post! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top