Subject: ELA (English Language Arts)

Lesson Length: 45 min - 1 hour

Topic: Plot of a Story/Story Arc

Grade Level: 6

Objective: Analysis, Explanation

Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3

Brief Description: Students will examine a story to determine how the plot unfolds and how the characters change based on the plot.

Know Before You Start:

  • Students will need to understand the concept of plot and how fictional texts are written with a story arc. An example is provided, but you may want to supplement with additional visuals to demonstrate this concept. 
  • Students will need a fictional text to read and evaluate for this lesson.

The Plot Thickens! - Exemplar comic, panel 1 The Plot Thickens! - Exemplar comic, panel 2 The Plot Thickens! - Exemplar comic, panel 3

Hook: Have students look at the example comic of the plot diagram explaining the parts of the story arc. Discuss the development of plot in a story and its importance. Share examples of common stories and have students identify the components of the plot. Ask students to consider how the characters change in each of the stories based on the plot.

Activity:

  1. Provide a fictional text for students to read. 
  2. Have students discuss the plot and how the characters change based on the plot. 
  3. Ask students to create a four panel comic showing the story arc of a story they have read. 
  • Panel 1:  Caption “Exposition”. Students introduce the main characters.
  • Panel 2: Caption “Rising Action”. Students depict an important event related to the conflict of the story.
  • Panel 3: Caption “Climax” or “Turning Point”. Students depict the most exciting or tense part of the story. (ex. Luke fighting Darth Vader in Star Wars) 
  • Panel 4: Caption “Falling Action”. Students show how the conflict was resolved or how the characters changed during the story.

Closure: Use a Gallery Walk for students to see the work of others and discuss the plot diagrams. A Gallery Walk can be completed by students either walking to each device to view the comics or walking around to view printed copies of the comics.

Differentiation:

  • Provide sentence starters for students
  • Pre-teach necessary vocabulary for ELL students
  • Allow students to work with a peer model.
  • Provide a variety of texts with the necessary range of reading levels for your classroom
  • Allow students to sketch out their ideas before creating their comic in Pixton
  • Complete a comic with the whole class/small group before moving to independent comics

Resources:

  • Example to print or display: Comic
  • Additional examples of a plot diagram/story arc
  • Fictional text material for students to read