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Teaching Plot Structure Through Short Stories

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1 Teaching Plot Structure Through Short Stories
Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. A plot diagram is an organizational tool, which is used to map the significant events in a story. By placing the most significant events from a story on the plot diagram, you can visualize the key features of the story. Plot is the literary element that shows the arrangement of events and actions within a story.

2 Types of Linear Plots Plots can be told in
Chronological order-events told in the time order they actually happened. In addition, you can note that some stories follow a circular or episodic plot, and hypertextual stories can be different every time they’re read, as the reader chooses the direction that the story takes. If a story that students are working on does not fit into the triangle structure, think about why the author would choose a different story structure and how the structure has changed. Flashback-when the character goes back to an event that happened earlier in time.

3 Plot Components Climax: the turning point, the most intense moment—either mentally or in action Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax Falling Action: all of the action which follows the climax Exposition: The mood and conditions existing at the beginning of the story. The setting is identified. The main characters with their positions, circumstances and relationships to one another are established. The exciting force or initial conflict is introduced. Sometimes called the “Narrative HOOK” this begins the conflict that continues throughout the story. Rising Action: The series of events, conflicts, and crises in the story that lead up to the climax, providing the progressive intensity, and complicate the conflict. Climax: The turning point of the story. A crucial event takes place and from this point forward, the protagonist moves toward his inevitable end. The event may be either an action or a mental decision that the protagonist makes. Falling Action: The events occurring from the time of the climax to the end of the story. The main character may encounter more conflicts in this part of the story, but the end is inevitable. Resolution/Denouement: The tying up of loose ends and all of the threads in the story. The conclusion. The hero character either emerges triumphant or is defeated at this point. Exposition: the start of the story, the situation before the action starts Resolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads

4 Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.

5 Types of Conflict Interpersonal Conflict Human vs Human
Human vs Nature Human vs Society Human vs Self Internal Conflict

6 Characters The people, animals, or other beings that take part in the stories events/plot. Protagonist: The main character in a story Antagonist: A character or force in conflict with the main character Round Character: A fully developed character with many traits (strengths and weaknesses) Flat Character: An underdeveloped character Dynamic Character: A character who grows and changes throughout story Static Character: A character who does not change in story

7 Shrek Characters Protagonist: Shrek
Antagonist: Lord Farquaad (stands in his way…kills ogres and tries to keep Shrek and Fiona apart. Shrek is a dynamic character because he changes throughout the story: he becomes “softer” and lets people into his life. Shrek is round because we see his strengths and weaknesses: he seems like a real person!

8 A Wrinkle in Time Protagonist: _____________ Antagonist:______________
Round Character(s): Flat Character(s): Dynamic Character: Static Character:

9 Characterization Methods
Direct Author description stated what the character says what the character does Indirect what others say about the character how others react implied

10 Setting The time and place of a story’s events.

11 Theme The message/lesson the story conveys
What are the big ideas? What lesson can be learned? : Shrek: accepting oneself, true beauty is not external

12 Point of view: who is telling the story
First person: a person inside the story is telling it Major: a main character is telling it Narrator: a person is relating what happened to others Minor: a minor character is telling it

13 Point of view Third person: a person outside of the story is telling it Limited omniscient: we follow around one or two characters knowing what they do and think Omniscient: “All knowing”

14 Other terms tone: the author’s attitude toward the work (happy, sad, scary, suspenseful) mood/atmosphere: the emotional effect created by a work Edgar Allen Poe’s stories create a scary/intense/feeling in the reader…

15 Symbolism symbol: something stands for a concept larger than itself
standard or cultural symbols author-created symbols = Innocence = America/Democracy/Freedom = Peace

16 More terms Foreshadowing: hints or clues of what is to come
Imagery: painting pictures with words Flashback: going back to past events Style/Diction: the author’s manner of writing and word choice. S.E. Hinton uses a lot of slang to make The Outsiders more realistic to teenage talk.

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