Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I love teaching the Elements of Literature! I think it's vital to students understanding what it takes to make a good story (long or short) so they are able to add it to their own stories. Today we expanded from Monday's foldable for PLOT. See the EofLit foldable.

We created a page for the basic steps of PLOT:
  • PLOT: sequence of events, cause/effect, conflict, relationships. *the storyline*
  1. EXPOSITION: meet the characters; learn about the setting (time & place; where/when); conflict/problem is introduced
  2. RISING ACTION: conflict(s) develop; suspense builds
  3. CLIMAX: turning point; character faces conflict; main character's attitude changes
  4. FALLING ACTION: loose ends are tied up; conflict(s) are being solved
  5. RESOLUTION: reasonable ending; conflict is "resolved" (taken care of
Using the idea for Dinah Zike's "Layered Notebook Foldable, I created a 4"x6" box with a 1/2" border at the top. I was able to fit two on each page then photo-copied them onto six different colors (I chose "fall" can choose anything!). Each page supplied two students with boxes; I had them cut them out on the solid black lines. Then, I had them write the above terms and definitions on their papers (one on each paper for a total of six.) NOTE: I created an "Anchor Chart" of the basic page and had that on my whiteboard. I made copies of each page on an 8-1/2"x11" sheet of paper in the colors I wanted them to use and showed them how to layer them using magnets. I LOVED the Anchor Chart idea! {it was fun writing REALLY big! :) }Then we glued them in the Interactive Notebook, dated and titled it, then added it to the Table of Contents. All in all, I'd say it went well. It took about 30 minutes to complete (less if they focuses...more if they talked...). 

Anchor Chart and notes at the beginning of class.

What it looked like by the end of class.

Sample in the Interactive Notebook.

Sample page layout.


  1. Love the idea. I also teach middle school English. I really like using foldables in my interactive notebooks.

  2. I teach fifth grade L.A. and this looks great. I always run out of things to do with my Gifted and Talented groups of kids. Thanks for sharing.

  3. With Common Core, this gets taught as early as 4th grade now. Something like this would be great to use! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi! I can't comment on one of your other posts so I will post here.. If you have any foldables, activities, fun stuff that you would like to share that you used with Roll of Thunder I would love to see it! I love all of the awesome things that I see on your site and I am teaching this book in 7th grade this year and it is my first time teaching 7th grade! Any help you can offer would be great! Thanks a ton!
    Carrie C.

  5. I love this!! I used it in my IRWN today. What a great idea!! Thank you.

  6. I so wish that I could have had a videotape going in my classroom today. I teach 4th graders. I introduced the foldable and only did the Exposition. Then the kids partnered up and worked as editors on each others pieces. They offered additions and modifications to make sure that their partner's pieces had all the qualities necessary for a solid exposition. Thank you so much!!!

    1. YAY!!!! Don't you just love it when they "get it"?? CONGRATULATIONS!!