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Elements of Plot

Teaching the elements of plot can be a challenging task. Knowing story structure is critically important to comprehension development. Without story schema, independent reading is hodge-podge and non-sensical. Using a common story builds upon prior knowledge, especially when using the SCRIP Comprehension Strategies. Fairy tales are ideal for this purpose.

Here’s my fractured fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The two-age story includes all plot elements (character-setting-problem/situation-internal and external conflict-complications-climax-falling action-resolution), as well as examples of  foreshadowing, direct and indirect characterization, and a twist. Ideal for middle and high schoolers, maybe for some upper elementary, but it’s quite twisted, so use some judgment here. Altering the rhetorical stance or changing up the ending is a great writing application to follow this lesson.

Attached is the story, ready for your plot diagram. Also attached is a matching quiz of the plot elements found in the story. Goldilocks Story  Goldilocks Quiz

Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. Designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, is adaptable to various instructional settings, and is simple to use—a perfect choice for Response to Intervention tiered instructional levels. Get multiple choice diagnostic reading assessments , formative assessments, blending and syllabication activitiesphonemic awareness, and phonics workshops, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages recorded at three different reading speeds and accessed on YouTube, 586 game cards, posters, activities, and games.

Also get the accompanying Sam and Friends Phonics Books. These eight-page decodable take-home books include sight words, word fluency practice, and phonics instruction aligned to the instructional sequence found in Teaching Reading Strategies. Each book is illustrated by master cartoonist, David Rickert. The cartoons, characters, and plots are designed to be appreciated by both older remedial readers and younger beginning readers. The teenage characters are multi-ethnic and the stories reinforce positive values and character development. Your students (and parents) will love these fun, heart-warming, and comical stories about the adventures of Sam and his friends: Tom, Kit, and Deb. Oh, and also that crazy dog, Pug.

Everything teachers need to teach a diagnostically-based reading intervention program for struggling readers at all reading levels is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Ideal for students reading two or more grade levels below current grade level, English-language learners, and Special Education students. Simple directions and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program, with or without paraprofessional assistance.

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