Plot Connections Grade Five

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1 Ohio Standards Connection Reading Applications: Literary Text Benchmark C Identify the elements of plot and establish a connection between an element and a future event. Indicator 3 Identify the main incidents of a plot sequence and explain how they influence future action. Lesson Summary: Students identify main incidents of a plot sequence and explain how specific events influence future actions. Using shared reading, students refer to a plot outline to identify various elements. Each student selects a specific event in the plot and matches it with another related event. This matching activity has students physically pairing themselves with other students who have selected a similar specific event from the same literary text. The matches form pairs or groups of students who share their connections with the class. Students complete a graphic organizer and write a paragraph explaining a specific connection as postassessment. Estimated Duration: One and a half to two hours Commentary: Reviewers of this lesson especially liked how it physically engaged students reinforcing lesson concepts and appealing to kinesthetic learners. The lesson also incorporates a variety of literary texts to accommodate different levels of readiness and proposes several interesting ways of differentiating the content through interdisciplinary connections and extensions. Whether it was the lesson s post-assessment rubric or the numerous opportunities for students to discuss and weigh possibilities, Ohio teachers gave this lesson high marks. One reviewer simply noted, Loved it. Pre-Assessment: Conduct a brief review of the plot outline. Divide students into small groups of three to four students and distribute a simple plot outline to each student. (See Plot Outline, Attachment A.) Ask each group to select a commonly known fairy tale and to place the events of the story on an individual plot graph. Give examples such as Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs. Instruct students to select at least one event in the introduction or rising action that influences a future action and to write a sentence or two explaining their choice. Allow approximately five minutes for students (with their group members) to select a connection and compose an explanation for their choice. 1

2 Have one student from each group share a connection identified by the group and explain how the connection works. Collect plot graphs to assess individual understanding. Scoring Guidelines: Score individual plot graphs with the following scale: 3 Places the main events of a plot sequence on the plot graph Selects at least two main events and connects each with a future event or action Writes a convincing explanation for the connections 2 Places some of the main events of the plot sequence on the plot graph Selects one main event and connects it with a future action Writes a somewhat convincing explanation for the connection 1 Places a mixture of main and minor events of the plot sequence on the plot graph Selects at least one minor event and connects it with a future event Writes a weak explanation for the connection 0 Demonstrates little or no understanding of the performance expectations or concepts Post-Assessment: Students use the graphic organizer Before and After Story Organizer, Attachment B, to identify events of the plot and establish a connection between a specific event and a future event using a shared reading. Students explain their selection in a one-paragraph written response. Students may use word processing software to compose responses. Scoring Guidelines: The post-assessment graphic organizer helps students identify main events of a plot and connect a before the climax main event to an after the climax main event. Students refer to this organizer as they compose a paragraph that identifies their before and after selections, provide a clear explanation of the events connections and show the effect of one event on the other. See the Scoring Rubric, Attachment C, which provides students with criteria to judge how well they understood the lesson s purpose. Instructional Procedures: Part One 1. Select a shared reading, such as a novel, short story, article, play or other material currently used in class. Students may have completed the reading as homework prior to the lesson or may be allowed time in class to read. 2. Lead a class discussion determining the climax of the selected reading and distinguishing between its main and minor events. 3. Divide students into groups of three to four students and assign each group a section of the shared reading. 4. Allow approximately five to 10 minutes for students to review their assigned section. 5. Ask each group to determine if the main event(s) in its section occur(s) before or after the climax. 2

3 6. Identify a note-taker or recorder for each group and allow approximately five to 10 minutes for each group to record the main event(s) that occur(s) in its section. Collect these lists of main events for use in Part Two. Instructional Tip: Use durable paper to complete step 6. Durable paper helps reduce the number of cases of students who tear or damage their strips in steps 7 & 8. Part Two 7. Distribute scissors and ask students to cut the main events they identified in Part One into strips with one event per strip. 8. Ask groups to distribute at least one main event strip to each person in the group. (Group members may need to take more than one main event strip, depending on the number of events and group members.) 9. Instruct all groups with sections of the assigned reading that happen before the climax to take their strips of events and stand on one side of the room. 10. Instruct all groups with sections of the assigned reading that happen after the climax to take their strips of events and stand on the other side of the room. 11. Ask students to line themselves up so they are standing in the same sequence as their events occurred in the story. 12. Have each student share his or her event with the class. 13. Give students five to 10 minutes to locate someone on the other side of the room with whom they can make a connection based on events. Emphasize choosing cause and effect relationships. Since multiple events from one side may be connected to events on the other side, allow students to create multiple connections or clusters (groups of three or more) when necessary. 14. Allow a few minutes for pairs or clusters to discuss their connections. 15. Ask these pairs or clusters to share their connections with the class. 16. Begin the Post-Assessment by distributing the Before and After Story Organizer, Attachment B, to each student. 17. Instruct students to list the main before events on the appropriate side of the organizer. Remind students to recall these events when they were discussed by the students who stood on the before side of the room. 18. Instruct students to list the main after events on the appropriate side of the organizer. Remind students to recall these events as discussed by students who stood on the after side of the room. 19. Allow students to review the entire reading to fill in any missing details. 20. Instruct students to draw connecting lines between the events in the before column with the events in the after column and to select one before and after connection to discuss in a written response. 21. Ask students to complete the post-assessment by writing a complete paragraph that provides a clear explanation of this connection between a pair or among a cluster of before and after events which shows how the events affect one another. 3

4 22. Collect the Before and After Story Organizer, Attachment B, and the post-assessment paragraph from each student and assess student work using the post-assessment Scoring Rubric, Attachment C. Instructional Tip: Move desks or other classroom furniture to allow for greater ease of movement. Differentiated Instructional Support: Instruction is differentiated according to learner needs, to help all learners either meet the intent of the specified indicator(s) or, if the indicator is already met, to advance beyond the specified indicator(s). Students work in homogeneous groups to complete the Plot Outline, Attachment A. Students use pictures to represent events on the Plot Outline, Attachment A. Students peer-edit post-assessment paragraphs. Extensions: Initiate a class discussion highlighting the connections among events in the plot sequence and how they contribute to the development of major themes. Encourage students to find similar connections in other works like movies, novels, television dramas or sitcoms, current events or other forms of literary or performing art works of popular culture. Use this lesson as a foundation for predicting future events in another reading selection. Home Connections: Ask for examples of cause/effect relationships from everyday life, such as completing homework, studying for tests and participating in class, and their effect on achievement and grades. Ask each student to identify a television show that contains at least one similar example of events (or possible future events) in its plot to the events in the plot of the shared story in class. Invite individual students to share their examples with the rest of the class. Interdisciplinary Connections: Content Area: Social Studies Standard: History Benchmark: B. Describe the cultural patterns that are evident in North America today as a result of exploration, colonization and conflict. Indicators: 3. Explain why European countries explored and colonized North America. 4. Describe the lasting effects of Spanish, French and English colonization in North America including cultural patterns evident today such as language, food, traditions and architecture. Students can identify and explain the cause and effect relationships between the Spanish, French and English explorers and colonists of North America and the native peoples who originally inhabited the continent. These cause and effect relationships may focus on language, food, 4

5 traditions and architecture. Invite students to develop a plot from these relationships that could result in a story of historical fiction. Materials and Resources: The inclusion of a specific resource in any lesson formulated by the Ohio Department of Education should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Department of Education does not endorse any particular resource. The Web addresses listed are for a given site s main page, therefore, it may be necessary to search within that site to find the specific information required for a given lesson. Please note that information published on the Internet changes over time, therefore the links provided may no longer contain the specific information related to a given lesson. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students. For the teacher: handouts described in the instructional procedures, pre-assessment and post assessment For the students: pencils, scissors, copy of a selected text Vocabulary: cause/effect relationship climax falling action introduction plot sequence resolution rising action main event minor event Technology Connections: Use organizing software to outline the plot. Use organizing software to create the graphic organizer for the post-assessment. Research Connections: Burke, Jim. Tools for Thought: Graphic Organizers for Your Classroom. Portsmouth: Heinemann, Graphic organizers have been shown to positively affect students ability to effectively and efficiently take notes. Cawelti, Gordon. Handbook of Research on Improving Student Achievement. Arlington: Educational Research Service, Cawelti s work has shown how certain practices in the field of language arts lead to improved student achievement. Some examples of such practices are: 1) emphasizing discussion and 5

6 analysis, 2) providing a balance of attention to reading, writing and speaking and 3) fostering interactive learning. Marzano, Robert J., Jane E. Pollock and Debra Pickering. Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Marzano and others have identified classroom instructional strategies that result in increased student achievement. Two of those strategies featured in this lesson are 1) the use of nonlinguistic representations like graphic organizers which help students think about and recall knowledge and 2) the use of cooperative learning grouping which helps students develop their interpersonal, small group and group processing skills. Pressley, Michael. Reading Instruction that Works: The Case for Balanced Reading. New York: Guilford Press, Cognitive strategies such as thinking aloud, constructing images, summarizing, predicting, activating prior knowledge, questioning, clarifying and analyzing text structure can promote reading instruction beginning in grade two and continuing into high school. These are comprehension strategies used by excellent readers. General Tip: Circulate among students to encourage and facilitate their efforts to find and explain cause and effect connections. Attachments: Attachment A, Plot Outline Attachment B, Before and After Story Organizer Attachment C, Scoring Rubric 6

7 Attachment A Plot Outline Name Date Directions: In your group, select a commonly-known fairy tale. Place the events of the story on the plot graph. Select at least one event in the introduction or rising action that influences a future action. Write a sentence or two explaining your choice. Discuss your findings with the group and agree on one example to share with the class. Climax Rising Action Falling Action Introduction Resolution Events you selected: Explain how they connect: 7

8 Attachment B Before and After Story Organizer Name Date Directions: List the main events in the Before column, including the actions and feelings of characters that happen before the climax. List the main events in the After column, including the actions and feelings of characters that happen after the climax. Think about how an action may affect a future action, a set of events may have a particular outcome or feelings may change. Draw connecting lines from events in the Before column to events in the After column. Before (the climax) After (the climax) 8

9 Attachment C Scoring Rubric Graphic Organizer Paragraph Content Paragraph Conventions Great Success 4 Identifies all main events of the plot Identifies main before and after events, provides an exceptionally clear explanation of one of these connections and of how one affects the other. Contains no errors in grammar, usage or mechanics Success 3 Identifies most of the main events of the plot Identifies some main before and after events, provides a clear explanation of one of these connections and of how one affects the other Contains one error in grammar, usage or mechanics Some Success 2 Identifies a mixture of main and minor events of the plot Identifies at least one main before and after event, provides an unclear connection of how one event affects the other Contains two errors in grammar, usage or mechanics Needs Improvement 1 Identifies only one or more minor events of the plot Identifies no main before and after event, possibly provides a connection but without explanation Contains three or more errors in grammar, usage or mechanics 9

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