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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Deidra W. Crain
System: Tuscaloosa City
School: Paul W Bryant High School

  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33077


Beyond Plot Summary Part 2: Critical Thinking and Writing About Plot Development


Using the plot development toolkit, students will identify and explain plot development of a class text, including generating their own reflections, original ideas, and discussion regarding how events interact and shape character, mood, tone, and conflict.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (9)
1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.9-10.1]
ELA2015 (9)
3. Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme. [RL.9-10.3]
ELA2015 (10)
1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.9-10.1]
ELA2015 (10)
3. Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme. [RL.9-10.3]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will compose an effective response addressing development of plot of a major text/in class reading.

Students will identify and label elements of an effective response within their own writing. 

Additional Learning Objective(s):


 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Materials for Both Teacher and Students:

  • major text/in-class reading
  • plot development toolkit
  • model responses/exemplars
  • highlighters/markers/colored pencils
  • graphic organizer/triple T-chart

Technology Resources Needed:

For teachers:  Technology is not required; however, an interactive whiteboard and document camera would be optimal.

For students:  If technology is available, having students digitally annotate and label and/or highlight model responses would be optimal, from a computer, tablet, or slate using a stylus and sharing online. Additionally, and are great apps and websites easily accesible to students.


Students must be able to identify, explain, and support elements of plot including exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, and falling action. Students must also be aware of the Essential Question for the unit or series of lessons, as well as possible themes for the text. In the previous lesson, (Beyond Plot Development: Part 1students analyzed a sample response on plot development, identifying and categorizing elements of an effective response. 


At the conclusion of Beyond Plot Summary Part 1: Critical Thinking and Writing About Plot Development, students analyzed a sample response for effective discussion of plot development, highlighting and/or labeling each element of an effective response according to the plot development toolkit and sharing out to class.

Next, assign students a reading selection from a major text or other in-class reading. For this lesson's purposes, a shorter selection, such as a chapter out of a novel, or a short story, would be optimal. 

Directions to the class:

1. Before reading, please draw the plot development graphic organizer (triple T-chart shown in attached lecture notes) on your own paper.

2. While you read, briefly list major plot events in chronological order on the left side of the organizer.

3. After reading, go back to the second column, and tell how that plot event affects the character. Remember to go beyond "emotions" such as sad, angry, scared, etc., and tell "how" it influences their thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

3. Next, go to the third column and tell what this event "does for the story." Be sure to address a specific literary device or element of plot such as conflict, tone, theme, etc. 

4. Then, take all three columns and fashion your response in paragraph format, imitating the model paragraphs you have seen in class and have in your notes. It is okay this time to "imitate" the model, although you should not copy it. Feel free to use your toolkit, and if you like, your evidence anchor chart to introduce your textual evidence (these are readily accessible and easily available on sites such as Pinterest should you choose to include this portion of the resources; see link below).

5. Lastly, take your highlighters/markers and label each element of your plot development response with a different color/label. 

Directions to teacher: To conclude class, you might want to have students pair and share their responses, then choose a few responses to be modeled for the class. Alternately, you could have them pair and share with a classmate and label/highlight their partners' papers instead of their own.

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Assessment Strategies

Teacher should conduct informal observations and questioning while circulating around room as students work.

Teacher might choose to score the annotated/highlighted and labeled responses for correct answers, since there are five parts to each effective response which students should identify. Alternately, the teacher might prefer to have students assess each others' papers and provide feedback using the plot development toolkit.


The elements in the plot development toolkit can also be applied to theme, character, and setting development.


Anchor charts for introducing textual evidence may be easily found online on sites such as Pinterest:

The teacher might also choose to scaffold the lesson through the use of a frame paragraph created for a specific text, allowing students to "flesh out" the frame using their own reflections and example with the teacher's introductions and transitions.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
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