This has been a really productive week for my students. Our interactive Reader’s and Writer’s Notebooks are filling up with learning, student writing is taking off, and learning targets seem to be sticking. Two of my students informed me that since there is not a movie to go along with the novel that we recently completed, they would like to write a play and turn it into a Reader’s Theater for their 6th grade classmates to perform. IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER, DOES IT???!!! Having to remind students to eat their lunches and not spend their entire lunch writing is an argument I will take on any day!
While writing is thriving, it has been a week of chock full of lots of reading too. Our learning target right now is PLOT. While plot can seem to be an easy concept to teach, there are lots of components that can be tricky for some students to grasp and identify when it comes to tackling a text on their own and determining the problem, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Since we recently completed Crash, that was a perfect place to start with students identifying characters, setting, and the minor and major events of the novel. We then moved onto our Reading Street text. I had my students listen to Viva New Jersey and identify all of the elements of plot in their small table groups and then share their findings as a whole group.
Today was fun to watch…I pulled a variety of picture books, gave students the chance to work independently or with a peer, and they were off. Each student/partnership read two books and identified the plot structure from each. A favorite comment by a student was after he read The Toll Bridge Troll by Patricia Rae Wolff. Kenny asked, “I love this book. Can I put it in my book box?” Again, it doesn’t get any better.
Here are a few of the texts I pulled for teaching plot and the graphic organizer I utilize to teach plot structure from Reading Street:
Good luck as you embark on this skill with your students. Please share any strategies or texts that you utilize for plot that help the concept stick with your students.