Developing Plot: Establishing a Resolution and Conclusion | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G4:M2:U3:L5

Developing Plot: Establishing a Resolution and Conclusion

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RI.4.9: Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • W.4.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • W.4.3a: Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
  • W.4.3d: Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
  • W.4.3e: Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
  • W.4.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.4.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • L.4.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • L.4.3a: Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.
  • L.4.6: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g., wildlife, conservation, and endangered when discussing animal preservation).

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can organize a plot for a narrative using events based on research of my animal and its defense mechanisms. (RI.4.9, W.4.3a, W.4.3d, W.4.3e, W.4.4, W.4.5, L.4.3a, L.4.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Narrative Planning graphic organizer (RI.4.9, W.4.3a, W.4.3d, W.4.3e, W.4.4, W.4.5, L.4.3a, L.4.6)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Writer: Understanding the Narrative Writing Checklist (5 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

2. Work Time 

A. Reviewing Organization of Narratives (10 minutes)

B. Guided Practice: Planning the Millipede Narrative (10 minutes)

C. Independent Practice: Reviewing Research and Planning the Expert Group Animal Narrative (25 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment 

A. Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

4. Homework 

A. Read and annotate "How the Monkey Got Food When He Was Hungry" from your homework resources for this unit.

B. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt to respond to in the front of your independent reading journal.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students study the plot development of "Powerful Polly" (W.4.3a,d; L.4.3a) and use their observations when planning the millipede narrative as a whole group and their expert group animal narratives independently (RI.4.9, W.4.3a, W.4.3d, W.4.3e, W.4.4, W.4.5, L.4.3a, L.4.6).
  • Only Choice #1 on the planning organizer has a suggested answer key for teacher reference because this is the only one filled out as a whole group.
  • The research reading students complete for homework will help to build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to animals and specifically animal defense mechanisms. By participating in this volume of reading over a span of time, students will develop a wide base of knowledge about the world and the words that help to describe and make sense of it.
  • Students will have the opportunity to practice their fluency in this lesson by following along and reading silently as the teacher reads "Powerful Polly" aloud in Work Time A.
  • Students who finish quickly can consider other literary and narrative techniques, such as foreshadowing or pacing, when planning the organization of their narratives.
  • Students who finish quickly can extend their stories by including more choices for the reader throughout the narrative. Instead of planning a conclusion for Choice #1 and #2, they can plan a resolution for each and introduce a new problem, with new choices and conclusions.

How it builds on previous work:

  • Students use the familiar text "Powerful Polly" to understand the elements of an effective plot. They continue using the Narrative Planning graphic organizer that they started working with in Lesson 4 to further develop the plot of their own narratives.
  • Continue to use Goals 1-3 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas where students may need additional support:

  • Students may have difficulty determining the most important and relevant research notes to use as they develop their plans. Consider flagging important pages of students' research notebooks or having students use sticky notes to mark key pages or notes.
  • Students may struggle with writing a fictional piece based on their research. Remind them that although the story and character are fictional, the details must still be scientifically accurate. 

Assessment Guidance:

  • Refer to the characteristics related to W.4.3a, W.4.3d, W.4.3e of the Narrative Writing Checklist when assessing students' work in this lesson.
  • Collect in response to Narrative QuickWrite homework (Lesson 3).

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 6, students will participate in a peer critique of their plans, and in Lesson 7 they practice expanding the millipede introduction and participate in shared writing to draft the millipede narrative. These lessons provide guided practice to prepare students to write a narrative about their expert group animal for the mid-unit assessment.
  • Consider using the Writing Informal Assessment: Writing and Language Skills Checklist (Grade 4) during students' planning in Work Time C.

In Advance

  • Display the Performance Task, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Narrative, and Steps for Planning and Drafting My Narrative anchor charts.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time C: Allow students to use an online graphic organizer such as Creately or ReadWriteThink's Webbing Tool to brainstorm, record, or share initial ideas about the organization of their narratives.
  • Work Time C: Students complete their graphic organizer in a word processing document, for example a Google Doc using Speech to Text facilities activated on devices, or using an app or software like Dictation.io.
  • Closing and Assessment A: digital exit tickets: Students fill out a Google Form or record thinking on a class Google Doc or Google Spreadsheet. 
  • Closing and Assessment A: audio exit tickets: Students record their ideas in audio through free software or apps such as Audacity or GarageBand.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 4.I.A.1, 4.I.A.2, 4.I.A.3, 4.I.B.5, 4.I.B.6, 4.I.C.10, 4.I.C.11, 4.I.C.12, 4.II.A.1, 4.II.B.5

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by making the organization and language of the choose-your-own-adventure narrative explicit through models, analysis, and group writing.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to keep up with the amount of writing in this lesson. ELLs will benefit if enabled to discuss their ideas before writing. The process of speaking with another student forces language learners to "fix" their language errors in order to be understood as well as to use proficient language to "facilitate" the progress of the conversation. This type of activity has been shown to help bolster language development.
  • If students jigsaw-read "How the Camel Got His Hump," give them time to share their portion of the reading with other groups. Prepare an "information gap" question chart with questions and a blank column for answers about the story so that students have to ask about and get information from other students.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Invite students to begin or continue a log of their own and others' language usage. Suggest that they self-monitor using question such as "Did that sound right?" "Did my listener or reader look engaged or confused?" "Am I using modal auxiliary verbs correctly?" As students interact, they can jot down samples of proficient language as well as one or two language errors. Invite them to correct these errors in the log and focus on using the language correctly going forward until they are comfortable. 

For heavier support:

  • Make sure students have the opportunity to discuss or sketch their ideas before and after they write.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, support comprehension by activating prior knowledge. Consider a brief review of lessons 1-4 to highlight relevance and scaffold connections for students.  Additionally, provide questions visually as well as verbally. For example, display questions on chart or board during discussions.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): Provide students who may need additional support developing a plot with some direct instruction in advance. Use a story line diagram to show rising action, problem, resolution, and conclusion. Use the definitions found in Work Time A of this lesson to explain what these terms mean. Look at examples from the choose-your-own-adventure book club book or any other books that students may have in common. Use these stories to identify rising action, problem, resolution, and conclusion to prepare students for writing in this lesson. Have this small group practice using the four categories on the Plot Structure note-catcher by filling it in for these practice stories together.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Invite students to reflect on their learning from previous lessons in this unit.  This supports students in understanding the value and relevance of the activities in this lesson. To support students who may need additional support in sustaining effort and/or attention, provide opportunities for restating the goal. In doing so, students are able to maintain focus for completing the activity.

Vocabulary

Key: (L): Lesson-Specific Vocabulary; (T): Text-Specific Vocabulary; (W): Vocabulary used in writing

  • plot, introduction, rising action, problem, resolution, conclusion (L)

Materials

  • Narrative Writing Checklist (from Lesson 3; one per student and one to display)
  • Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Narrative anchor chart (from Lesson 1)
  • Plot Structure note-catcher (from Lesson 4; one per student and one to display)
  • "Powerful Polly" pufferfish narrative (from Lesson 3; one per student and one to display)
  • Equity sticks
  • Performance Task anchor chart (from Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Millipede Narrative Planning graphic organizer (from Lesson 4; one per student and one to display)
  • Millipede Narrative Planning graphic organizer (completed, for teacher reference)
  • Narrative Planning graphic organizer (from Lesson 4; one per student and one to display)
  • Millipede Character Profile graphic organizer (from Lesson 3)
  • Expert Group Animal research notebooks (from Unit 2, Lesson 2; one per student)
    • Close Read Questions: "Fight to Survive!" (pages 2-9)
    • Web Page research guide (pages 12-16)
    • Organizing Research note-catcher (pages 17-18)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (from Module 1)
  • Index cards (one per student)

Assessment

Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Writer: Understanding the Narrative Writing Checklist (5 minutes)

  • Display and invite students to refer to their Narrative Writing Checklist and invite students to read the following criteria in the Characteristics of Effective Narratives column to themselves:
    • W.4.3a
    • W.4.3e
  • Review vocabulary from these criteria by asking:

"What do we mean by the phrase makes sense?" (The events and problem in narratives should be based on research. The order of the events in narratives should unfold in a way that makes sense. The character and setting should be introduced to the reader before the problem is introduced and solved.)

"What do we mean by satisfying ending?" (The ending should solve the problem and wrap up loose ends in the story.)

  • Refer to the bullet point on the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Narrative anchor chart about plot.
  • Circle plot and remind students that their story's plot must be based on facts and details from their research to meet the criteria on the checklist. Clarify that although their narrative is based on research, it is still fiction, so students will also include many details from their imagination.
  • For students who may need additional support with comprehension: Add sketches to the Narrative Writing Checklist to support student understanding of the characteristics. (Example: For the ninth characteristic, sketch a happy face and a finish line to show a "satisfying ending.") (MMR)

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

  • Read the learning target: 
    • "I can organize a plot for a narrative using events based on research of my animal and its defense mechanisms."
  • Explain that in Lesson 4, students planned the introductory and problem paragraphs of their narratives. Tell them that today they will continue planning their narratives by focusing on developing the plot.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Organization of Narratives (10 minutes)

  • Display and invite students to take out the Plot Structure notecatcher. Explain that students will reread "Powerful Polly" to analyze a different aspect of narratives and add to their notes.
  • Tell students that you are going to read the text aloud to them, and this time you would like them to analyze the plot. Ask:

"What is the plot of a narrative?" (The plot is the problem in the story, or The events of the story make up the plot.) Clarify if necessary so students know that plot is the sequence of events in a story, including a problem faced by the character and how it is solved.

  • Ask students to flip their note-catchers over and point out the word plot and its definition at the top. 
  • Explain that they will listen to the example narrative again, and that this time they will listen for how the events of the narrative are organized from beginning to end. To do this, they will listen and take notes in the four categories of their note-catchers. Review each category and clarify as needed.
  • Display and read "Powerful Polly," inviting students to follow along as you read. As in Lesson 4, read only the first choice. This will help students to focus on the general structure of a plot and not to become confused by the unique structure of the choose-your-own-adventure format. 
  • Pause briefly at the end of each paragraph so students can take notes.
  • Have students share with a partner the notes they captured for each section. Use equity sticks to call on students to share. 
  • Complete the note-catcher with the class. Explain the basic plot structure of most narratives:

"Plots of most basic stories follow this pattern: introduction, rising action, problem, resolution, and conclusion."

  • Add these terms with brief descriptors to the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Narrative anchor chart under Plot:
    • Introduction: sets the stage for the reader 
    • Rising action: establishes a situation
    • Problem: what the characters are trying to solve
    • Resolution: how the characters solve the problem
    • Conclusion: how the narrative is wrapped up
  • Go on to explain that the choose-your-own-adventure format follows this same pattern but has more than one resolution and conclusion.
  • If productive, cue students with a challenge:

"What if we remove one of these structures from this pattern? For example, what if we remove the Introduction or the Resolution? I'll give you time to think and discuss with a partner." (Responses will vary.)

  • For students who may need additional support with comprehension: Add visuals to the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Narrative anchor chart to help students understand the different components. This will be especially helpful when recording information about the structure of a typical plot (e.g., a story line diagram showing rising action, problem, resolution, and conclusion). (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Go one step further in analyzing the meaning of plot: "What does sequence of events mean?" (the order that things happen; first, second, third) "What is the sequence of events in Finding Nemo?" "What words do we use to show a sequence of events?" (first, second, third; then; next; soon)
  • For ELLs: When you pause at the end of each paragraph for students to take notes, allow students to orally share their ideas with a partner before and after writing.
  • For ELLs: Using their vocabulary log, word clusters, and word maps for support, students can explore spelling and pronouncing aloud, various word forms, synonyms, definitions, translations, and collocations (words frequently used together) to increase understanding of establishes a situation and two idioms: setting the stage and wrapped up.

B. Guided Practice: Planning the Millipede Narrative (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that now that they have a clearer picture of how the plot of a narrative is organized, they will practice developing a plot using the millipede. Explain that first they will focus on planning the resolution and conclusion for the millipede narrative as a class, and then plan the resolution and conclusion for their own narratives independently.
  • Display the Performance Task anchor chart. Display and distribute the Millipede Narrative Planning graphic organizer to each student. Remind students that they started planning the millipede narrative in Lesson 4.
  • Remind students that as in Lesson 4, the first step is to collect information for each part of the graphic organizer. Ask:

"Where can we find information to help us plan our narratives?" (We can get information from the prompt, our research notes, our character profiles, and our imaginations.)

  • Explain that students will need to think about the two choices for the reader to choose from in the adventure. Remind them that the reader chooses which defense mechanism the millipede will use. Point out again that students can use their imaginations, but that the choices must also be based on their research.
  • Ask:

"What was the problem in the millipede narrative?" (A toad saw the millipede and wanted to eat it.)

"How can the millipede solve this problem?"

  • Give students several minutes to think of a choice they could use for the millipede. Use equity sticks to call on students to share out their choices. Choose two students' ideas to record in the Resolution Paragraph box for each choice, after the questions "How does my character solve the problem? What defense mechanism is used?" Remind students to use precise words and phrases when recording notes on their plans. If necessary, review where to list their sources, pointing out that they should use at least two sources from their research. See the Millipede Narrative Planning graphic organizer (completed, for teacher reference). Ask students to record notes along with you.
  • Next, explain that students will plan the details of the resolution and concluding paragraphs for Choice #1 only. Tell them to leave the Choice #2 and Vocabulary boxes empty for now.
  • As a class, use your research notes and imaginations to plan the last two paragraphs. See the Millipede Narrative Planning graphic organizer (completed, for teacher reference). Encourage students to be creative but to keep their plans based on facts and details from their research. During the discussion, prompt students by asking questions like:

"What will the millipede do when he notices a predator approaching?" 

"What will be the result of his actions?"

"How will the predator respond?"

"What precise words or phrases can you use to describe what is happening?"

"How will the story end?"

  • For students who may need additional support with planning for writing: Invite students to listen during the guided practice and then give them a copy of the Millipede Narrative Planning graphic organizer afterward. This will allow them to focus on listening to the planning conversation and thinking through their ideas. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Repeat and rephrase questions. Examples: 

"How can the millipede solve this problem? What can the millipede do to stay safe?"

"What will be the result of his actions? What will happen after the millipede rolls up?"

  • For ELLs: After the millipede resolutions are selected, have students physically point to the sections of the sources where these problems are documented.

C. Independent Practice: Reviewing Research and Planning the Expert Group Animal Narrative (25 minutes)

  • Tell students that now they will have a chance to continue planning the plot of their expert group animal narrative. Remind them that the problem in their plot is the predator approaching the animal, which will keep the reader interested and wondering what will happen next. Point out that they have already planned these parts of their narratives in Lesson 4, and that today they will focus on planning how the problem will be resolved and the story will conclude.
  • Help students organize their materials. Ask them to get out the following materials:
    • Narrative Planning graphic organizer (from Lesson 4)
    • Expert Group Animal research notebooks: 
      • Close Read Questions: "Fight to Survive!" (pages 2-9)
      • Web Page research guide (pages 12-16)
      • Organizing Research note-catcher (pages 17-18)
  • Tell students that they may use any research in their notebooks but that you would like them to place these documents on top of their desks now. Give them a few minutes to organize their materials.
  • Tell students that for today, they should start by focusing on planning the resolution and concluding paragraphs for Choice #1 and Choice #2. Tell them that they should leave the Vocabulary box empty for now and that they can go back and add more details to the Introductory Paragraphs and Problem Paragraph(s) boxes when they have finished planning Choice #1 and #2.
  • Next, ask students to review the graphic organizer and think about what information they may need to review from their notes to help them plan a narrative that is based on their research. Have them turn to a partner and share their next steps. You may consider giving them a sentence frame such as: "I need to write about __________, so I will look in my research for ___________." You could also provide students with a model: "I need to write about how my character uses one of its defense mechanisms, so I will look in my research for information about how it rolls into a ball to protect itself." Circulate and listen for students who might need additional support when planning their narratives.
  • Once students have shared their next step with a partner, tell them that they will have the next 20 minutes to continue planning their narratives by completing the Resolution Paragraph and Concluding Paragraph boxes for Choice #1 and Choice #2 on their Narrative Planning graphic organizers. Tell them that you will be available to confer with them and support their planning and that they will have time to finish planning their narratives in the next lesson.
  • Remind students to be creative but to remember that their narratives should be based on research about their animal and its defense mechanisms. If necessary, prompt by asking questions such as: 

"What will your animal do when he notices a predator approaching?" 

"What will be the result of his actions?" 

"How will the predator respond?"

"What precise words or phrases can you use to describe what is happening?"

"How will the story end?"

  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, specifically persevere. Use a checking for understanding protocol for students to reflect on how they persevered as they planned their narratives over the last several days.
  • For ELLs and students who need additional writing support: Invite students to sketch their ideas on the graphic organizer before writing. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Enable students to discuss with a partner their ideas about their resolution and conclusion paragraphs for Choice #1 and Choice #2 before writing. Conversations about a task can help boost language development as students work to make themselves understood and to facilitate the spoken interaction.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

  • Gather students. Ask them to assess themselves on the learning target: "I can organize a plot for a narrative using events based on research of my animal and its defense mechanisms."
  • Distribute index cards and have students record their name and reflect and respond to the following:
    • Front: "Did you meet the learning target? What is your evidence?"
    • Back: "What is the problem the main character will face in your narrative? How will the character solve this problem?"
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with organizing ideas for written expression: Allow students to share their reflections verbally before writing them on the index cards. (MMAE)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Read and annotate "How the Monkey Got Food When He Was Hungry" from your homework resources for this unit.

B. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt to respond to in the front of your independent reading journal.

  • For ELLs and students who need reading support: Use jigsaw reading. Allow students to be responsible for different, small portions of "How the Camel Got His Hump" and then report back to the larger group about what they learned. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional reading support: Highlight critical portions of "How the Camel Got His Hump." (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional reading support: Record "How the Camel Got His Hump" so they can listen as they read. (MMR)
  • Fore ELLs and students who need reading and/or writing support: Provide students with pictures and a very structured graphic organizer for "How the Camel Got His Hump" to aid in comprehension and annotation. (MMR, MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading and writing: Refer to the suggested homework support in Lesson 1. (MMAE, MMR)

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