Monday, September 23, 2013

Plot Elements Craftivity

I love finding ways to get my students to be creative with concepts that can be somewhat less than exciting to teach, so I was very happy to find Deb at Crafting Connections and all of her awesome craftivities! I've already used her Types of Sentences T-Shirt craftivity, and we are finishing her Parts of Speech craftivity this week! I'm excited to be teaming up with Deb for her Classroom Tested, Teacher & Student Approved series to share about her Plot Elements Craftivity!
We started our first "real" reading lessons with Story Vocabulary, including plot, conflict, setting, protagonist, and antagonist. To me, discussing the elements of plot seemed like the natural next-step.

We started our week with a couple of mini-lessons and small group lessons defining each element of the plot in our interactive reading notebooks and practicing finding the plot elements in familiar stories.

I used Deb's Plot Element Craftivity as a culminating activity and for assessment. I loved using it as an assessment for two reasons: 1-My kids weren't stressed out  because it doesn't "feel" like a test, and 2-Deb included an amazing story with a clear plot, so it was easy to distingush all of the parts.

I started by having students write the plot elements in order on a piece of notebook paper. (Deb includes a great worksheet for this, with differentiated options, but my school has seriously cracked down on copies this year, so I just had them write it.) I then walked around and made note of which students had them all correct without help (for grading purposes).
Then, I passed out copies of the story that they could write on and read it out loud. (Added bonus, they loved the story!) I then had each student write down each part of the plot on their notebook paper.

I allowed them to use their reading notebooks for this part, and I was beyond excited to see this little guy comparing his answers to the notes we had taken!
And then I saw several more of my students doing the same thing. Score 1 for Interactive Notebooks!
They were all excited to get to the "fun part" after they had summarized the parts of the plot! Coloring, cutting, and gluing is one of their favorite activities! (On a side note, does anyone have any advice for getting them to speed up the coloring and cutting? This class takes forever on that part, no matter what activity we are doing. I hate feeling like I'm rushing their creativity, but sometimes we just have to move on!) Here are some shots of their work in progress:

I totally forgot to take pictures of their final products, so I will grab some at school today and update!

Deb is going to give away a copy of this craftivity to one of my followers, so stop by her blog and enter!

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading your post, Kristen! Here's what I do to speed my students up on the coloring, cutting, and pasting steps: I tell my students how much time they have to complete these tasks, and then I set a timer and give them occasional updates on how much time they have left. Also, when some students finish early, I let them cut and glue (and sometimes even color) for their classmates who are probably not going to finish their project by the time the timer goes off. As a last resort, I pile everything into an envelope and have them take it home to finish. :) Have a great week!


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