Mount Plot Peak
Primary Market
Education, Primary Ed
Character Focus
Respecting Others
Items Needed
1 Toobeez set, construction paper, markers, tape, copy of The W izard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (optional), chart paper (optional)
The Activity Time
40 – 50 minutes

Objectives

  • Discuss the importance of a story’s plot and the related story elements
  • Analyze a story plot for necessary plot elements
  • Cooperatively “construct” a mountain plot line
  • Discuss and reflect on the experience
Character Focus
Respecting Others
The Challenge

Using the Toobeez, students are going to construct a mountain plot line to represent the story events in The Wizard of Oz.

Preparation

Time: 1 minute

Materials

  • 1 Toobeez set
  • construction paper
  • markers
  • copy of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (optional)
  • tape
  • chart paper (optional)

Setup

  • Have Toobeez available for setup.
  • Refer to samples of plot elements to include.
Activity Plan

Time: 40 – 50 minutes

Space: Medium

Instruction: Whole class

Helpful Hints

  • Be sure to review these tips prior to beginning the activity, and if necessary, share reminders with the group during the activity.
  • This is a good activity to introduce the concept of plot. As a class, students can work to add plot elements as they are revealed during or after a class novel or other read aloud
  • This activity can get loud as everyone wants to participate, volunteer their ideas or perhaps disagree with another person’s suggestion. Be sure to emphasize “respecting others” during the conversation to maintain a positive learning environment
  • This activity can also be used to help teach writing skills (see “Activity Variations”)

Activity Instructions

1. Circle up the group.

Ask students about some recent favorite books they have read and why they liked the stories. Ask students, “What makes a good story?” Steer students toward the topic of plot and that good conflicts make stories interesting. Remind students that stories without conflict do not maintain a reader’s interest.

2. Review these terms with the group before beginning the activity.

* The plot is made up of the series of events that take place in a story.
* The exposition is the beginning of the story and introduces the setting, main characters and conflict.
* The conflict is the problem or obstacle the main character(s) must overcome.
* Rising action includes all the events that lead up to the climax.
* The climax is the turning point of the story and has the most action.
* Falling action includes the events following the climax.
* The resolution is when the problem is solved in the story.

3. As a class, students are going to “build” the plot of a well-known story, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. You could also use a recent class read-aloud, a picture book or other popular story.

4. Read aloud the following Activity Challenge Box to the group.

Challenge: Using the Toobeez, students are going to construct a mountain plot line to represent the story events in The Wizard of Oz.

5. As elements of the story and plot (such as characters, setting, main events and so on) emerge from the conversation, students may take turns writing down parts of the story on pieces of large construction paper. Decisions will need to be made about what is important enough to become part of the plot line.

6. Have students construct the Toobeez mountain plot line. On each section, students should display the construction paper story elements. You can do this as you go or after you have completed reviewing the story. See below for the plot line shape and refer to pictures.

Mount Plot Peak

7. *You may adjust the number of main events if needed, but try not to have more than five (for stability of the Toobeez mountain).

8. Once assembled, have students review the elements of a plot and discuss how this represents a mountain.

9. After the activity, move to the “Activity Discussion and Processing” section of the activity.

The Toobeez muntain

The Toobeez muntain

Students attaching plot elements

Students attaching plot elements

Assessment

  • Students participated in the class discussion
  • Students actively engaged themselves cooperatively in providing events from the story
  • Teacher observed good student work

Activity Discussion and Processing

To close the lesson, end with a group discussion about what was learned during the activity. Circle up the group, and work through the following questions. If possible, record the group’s responses on flip chart paper so all comments are displayed.

  • What is conflict, and why is conflict a critical element to a good plot?
  • What was challenging about identifying the plot lines of a story as a group?
  • How did constructing the plot line using Toobeez help you to understand the elements of a good plot?
  • How did you show respect to others during this activity?
  • Why is it important to show respect to others, especially when working in a large group?

Here are available Training Options!

Activity Variations

1. As a writing lesson.

When writing a story, students are often quick to begin drafting before they have thoroughly developed a plot. This tends to lead to stories that end in “and then I woke up.” To avoid this problem, use this lesson at the beginning of the year to emphasize the importance of plot so students can develop rewarding plots all year.

2. Tie to summaries.

This lesson can help reinforce the idea of summaries as well. If students turned this visual plot line into a paragraph or two, they would have a good summary of the story.

3. Extension/Follow-up.

To reinforce this concept during the following days or weeks, have small groups of students read picture books and then the groups can take turns to construct plot lines for the books they have read together. Have students display the title and leave the picture book and its plot line up for a few days for students to review.

Author of the Toobeez Language Arts Activity Workbook and Independent Writing Consultant. Anderson Editorial Services is a company dedicated to providing writing services for creative, informational and educational writing. Whether developing, editing, formatting or proofreading, Anderson Editorial is committed to producing the highest quality of writing.
All Activities of Victoria Anderson, M.Ed.

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