Tracy Rains
Elementary Education, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Upper Primary
4, 5
  • English Language Arts
  • Narrative Writing
  • Sequence
  • Story Elements
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Interactive, Text/HTML, Video

    Piecing Together the Plot

    Piecing Together the Plot


    In this seminar, you will be working on developing your narrative writing. By focusing on the plot, or the series of events, in a narrative writing, you will be able to create a more engaging and interesting story. The emphasis will be on creating a story arc that includes a problem and a solution and/ or rising and falling action. You will learn about these elements by seeing examples, identifying them, and finally writing them yourself. You will also compare and classify elements of plot in multiple examples of text. This seminar is the next logical step after completing the “Better Beginnings” seminar because it focuses on the “middle and end” of narrative writing. After completing both of these seminars, you should feel ready to create a narrative writing that has a strong beginning-middle-end.


    CC.1.4.4.M/ 1.4.5.M
    Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events



    Introductory warm-up activity.

    Listen to this song two times. First just listen to it and think about the meaning. Then watch it a second time and use this mind map of the plot terms mentioned in this song.  You can pause the song and write down the meaning of each term based on what you may already know about the word and/ or what the song is  teaching you about the term.  


    First you will read an article about developing the plot of a narrative. Then, you will watch a video and complete a note taking page as you continue to learn about the elements of plot in a narrative. Then, you will have a chance to do an activity that gives you the opportunity to practice what you have learned so far.




    Read this article and think about the Golden Rules of Good Plots. Why do you think the author compares writing a good plot to teaching a cat to do a series of tricks?

    Watch these videos that use familiar Disney stories to illustrate the important parts of the plot. The videos use FInding Nemo, Aladdin, and a Monster’s Inc. short to illustrate plot structure. As you watch each video, use this note taking page to organize the plot structure shown in each video.

    Now go to this interactive site and work your way through the “introduction” and the “elements of a story” tabs.  Finally, test your skills with the “Test Your Skills” tab.  Use the note taking page found here to record important ideas or points you want to remember from this site.



    Discuss your ideas / opinions / understandings.

    You will now use this slideshare as a guide to complete your next activity. You will then use the spinner found here in the slideshow to begin creating a collaborative story.  Instructions to access the spinner can be found on the google slide. The directions and versions of the activity are below:


    If playing as an Individual:

    1. Spin the Spinner to get a “piece of the plot” to create

    2. Go to recording page here and create that part of the plot- BE CREATIVE!

    3. Return to spinner and spin again.

    4. Repeat steps until all pieces of the plot have been developed.

    5. Share your story with others.

    If playing with a Partner:

    1. Player 1 spins the Spinner to get a “piece of the plot” to create.

    2. Go to the recording page here and create that part of the plot- BE CREATIVE!

    3. Player 2 spins the Spinner to get a different piece of the plot and record it on page.

    4. Player 1 spins and repeats steps 1-2.

    5. Player 2 spins and repeats step 3.

    6. Continue until a collaborative story has been created.

    7. Share story with others.

    If playing as a Group:

    1. Player 1 spins the Spinner to get a “piece of the plot” to create.

    2. Go to the recording page here and create that part of the plot- BE CREATIVE!

    3. Player 2 spins the Spinner to get a different piece of the plot and record it on page

    4. The next player spins and repeats steps 1-2

    5. Continue until a collaborative story has been created.

    6. Share story with others


    Now it is time to self check how much you have learned about this topic.  If you do not know as much as you thought, go back to the “Explore” section of this seminar and reread, rewatch, or redo the activities listed.  See your facilitator if you have questions.

    When you feel ready, you can take this online quiz that is self graded when you submit your answers. Please scroll through the correct answers at the bottom because you may type something that is a correct answer, but not in the exact wording that it is looking for. You may take the quiz multiple times until you feel you understand the terms and what they each mean to plot structure.


    This is a task or project where you can show what you know.


    Now you will get to use what you have learned in this seminar to develop a narrative of your own.  You can “piece together the plot” elements you have learned about, classified, and compared in the earlier stages of the seminar. Here is a list of possible topics to use to write your narrative.  You can also be creative and come up with your own. You need to use the Personal Narrative Checklist as a reference to the necessary requirements to show mastery. Then review and plot 2 other narratives written by other learners using this plot diagram. Go to this link twice to complete diagram for 2 different narratives, making sure you rename the doc using your name and either a number one or two as part of the title.


    Complete this wrap-up activity where you reflect on your learning. 

    What pieces of the plot do you think you will be more aware of developing when you write narratives in the future? Why?