Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Using Picture Books to Teach Plot Development and Conflict Resolution
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Three 50-minute sessions|
In this lesson, students explore the concepts of plot development and conflict resolution through focused experiences with picture books. The class searches the text and illustrations for cues to the development of the book’s plot and the resolution of the story’s conflict. They then use a graphic organizer to complete a structured analysis of plot and conflict resolution in the picture book. Finally, students have the opportunity to build bridges from their own experiences as readers to those skills needed as writers by revising their stories to strengthen the plot.
Plot Diagram: Students can use this open-ended online tool to graph the plot of any story.
Story Map: Students use this online tool to map out the elements of their writing. The tool can also be used to analyze the characters, plot, and setting of a piece of literature.
When they are exposed to multiple texts that illustrate effective writing, students naturally begin to think about how the techniques can be applied to their own writing. By modeling the process of reading like writers, teachers demonstrate the kind of thinking that will help students improve their own literacy skills. As Katie Wood Ray states, "the inquiry structures in writing workshops do simply this-they slow down and make more deliberate the reading like writers that happens vicariously when any writer reads. Slowing down lets writers apprentice themselves very deliberately to other writers" (16). This lesson has students examine books that model effective plot development and conflict resolution, encouraging students to use these techniques as they write their own stories.
Ray, Katie Wood. 1999. Wondrous Words: Writers and Writing in the Elementary Classroom. Urbana, IL: NCTE.