Part of Lesson Plan: Digital Story: Elements of Plot and Storytelling
Activity Overview / Details
(Pass out handout: “Literary Elements: Plot”. Put the same handout on the screen or on an overhead.)
Teacher says: Let’s look at the handout together and talk about what each of these terms mean and look at some examples. Let’s begin with “Exposition”. If you look at the word, what do you think it means? (Wait for some students to respond or call on some to take some guesses.) If you notice, the word “expose” is embedded. And, that is what the “exposition” is doing, exposing us to the story. Usually, this exposure allows us to paint a picture of the world in which the story takes place, usually including setting (time and place), the main character(s), and a situation.
(Ask students to take out a piece of paper or open a new document. Write out an example exposition for students to see. The following example may be used:
“Once upon a time in a castle far away, there lived a princess who was bored.”
Teacher says: As you can see, there is a time and place, “Once upon a time in a castle far away”, a main character, the princess, and a situation: she is bored. Your exposition can be as simple, or much more complex with extended descriptions of all these ideas. For the sake of this exercise, we will be short and sweet. Right now, let’s have you write out an exposition of your own.
(Have students take 5 minutes to come up with a short exposition. Walk around the classroom to help students with this process.)
(Ask students to share some examples.)
Teacher says: Once you have established an exposition, we proceed onto the “rising action(s)”. Usually, these rising actions include ways the main character tries to resolve their situation. In the case of my example, the princess needs to find ways to cure her boredom. I will think of 2 or 3 things the princess tries to cure this boredom. For instance, the princess may: 1) Go horseback riding, 2) Visit another princess, and 3) Eat a snack.
(Ask students to take another 5 minutes to also think of 2 – 3 things their character can do to resolve their situations. Go around and check to see how they are doing.)
(Ask students to share some examples again.)
Teacher says: These rising actions lead to what we call the “climax”, the point at which the situation is solved or the character decides to give up resolving said situation. In this case, I will have my princess go painting and like it, solving her boredom.
(Ask students to take 5 minutes to think of their climax and then share some examples.)
Teacher says: Now that the climax has been reached, we come to the “falling actions”. These basically are the fall-out or effects of the climax. In my case, the princess completes her painting and shows it to her dad and he expresses that he likes it.
(Ask students to take another 5 minutes to think about what the effects of their climaxes would be. Then, have them share with the class.)
Teacher says: Finally, we have the resolution…basically the end of the story. It can be as simple as: “They lived happily ever after.” In the case of our princess, we can say something like: “She continued to paint throughout her life, donating paintings to charity.”
(Ask students to take another 5 minutes to think about their resolution that properly ends their story. Go around and check to see that they are completing their story. Ask any of them to share.)
Materials / Resource
- Literary Elements: Plot [ Download ]