Identifying and analyzing the plot of a story is the foundation of getting the main idea, central message, author’s message, etc. This skill becomes harder and harder when students move to upper grades as the text complexity increases gradually in their reading materials. Therefore, using plot graphic organizers to support students is necessary and helpful.
Today I am going to share four free plot graphic organizers developed from the basic story mountain graphic organizer. However, these plot graphic organizers provide more support and scaffolding. Hopefully, they also have enough differentiation for a class of students.
Plot Graphic Organizer: Beginning, Middle, End With or Without the Story Mountain
There are five elements in the story mountain graphic organizer, but I noticed that it’s hard for some students to remember all these elements even with the story mountain picture. Thus, for the first two worksheets, I used “Beginning”, “Middle”, and “End” instead of the five elements. Students are familiar with BME from learning the summarizing or retelling skill.
As we can see from the pictures above, students need to identify what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of a story.
The first graphic organizer has a story mountain to help students, whereas the second graphic organizer is in a table format. Therefore, the first one is good for stories with lower text complexity and for students who need more support (e.g. English language learners who don’t understand the meanings of “beginning”, “middle”, and “end”). The second one has more space for students to write more events, so it also works with more complicated stories.
Both worksheets provide guiding questions, such as “What happened in the beginning?” after the word “Beginning” to prompt students.
Plot Graphic Organizer: Five Elements With or Without the Story Mountain
These graphic organizers are based on the five elements in the story mountain: 1. Introduction; 2. Rising Action; 3. Climax; 4. Falling Action; 5. Resolution.
Besides, in the parenthesis after each element, there is also the definition of the element.
For instance, after the word “Climax”, it says, “the most exciting part of a story. The characters make a decision or take action to solve the problem.” With the support of the definitions, students will know what to do for each box.
To make it a bit harder, I deleted the story mountain and made the worksheet on the left.
We know most reading assessments use multiple-choice questions or short-response questions. Students don’t always get a picture to remind them of the concepts.
Therefore, all students are expected to move from the easier graphic organizers to this one as they are mastering the skill.
Students who read texts with higher complexity can use this graphic organizer as their daily reading log to practice the skill of identifying the plot every day.
Follow-Up & Related Resources
In conclusion, from the first graphic organizer to the last one, students are provided with less and less support but required to identify more and more key events and supporting details. You may use these graphic organizers together for different groups in one lesson. Or you may use them as a progression for the same group of students.
If you also want some texts to go with these graphic organizers, you may check out the Plot Worksheets blog to get the freebie or purchase the product.
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