Lesson Plan: Plot development and team member roles.

Content Objective: Students will understand the stages of plot development.

Lower Grades - Sequencing skills (what happened first, second, etc.)
Upper Grades - Identifying stages of plot (conflict, climax, resolution, etc.)

Teamwork goal: Students will learn and participate in the following team roles:
Leader, Recorder, TimeKeeper.


The teacher chooses a book to be read by the whole class. The teacher then chooses 6 conflicts (problems) from the story. Examples of conflicts to be chosen are: character vs. self (internal), individual vs. nature (external), individual vs. individual or group (external).

Use the conflicts chosen as a basis for creatively dividing the class into teams. For example, clip art representations of conflict (problem) -- 6 variations and 5 of each kind. Students select clip art example from a hat, bag, box, etc. Conflict topics are written on slips of paper, one member from each team then selects a slip. Each team needs to keep it a secret.

Have each team do a preliminary exercise around the conflict chosen. For example, each team presents to the group their secret conflict by role playing, while the group tries to guess what the conflict is.

Teacher presents a lesson on conflict (problems) and begins the book by reading the first chapter aloud to the class.

Teams play their first rounds of TFJ as teams, after reading four chapters of the book. Teacher pauses the game for discussion whenever a question related to conflict appears.

Teacher presents a lesson on brainstorming describing the roles of Leader, Recorder and TimeKeeper. Each team selects members to fill those roles.

Brainstorming exercise: Topics could include the class five favorite sports heroes, five best movies ever, favorite books, favorite foods, etc.

Possible homework assignment during this book reading is as follows: Have each student create a mind map of a character in the story. Areas of the mind map should include: physical attributes, emotional attributes, relationships, likes, dislikes, etc. The teacher can also have the students use quotations from the text with page numbers to affirm those attributes chosen.

Team brainstorming exercise: Each team will utilize the roles of Leader, Recorder and TimeKeeper. Teams will brainstorm to list a certain number of conflicts that have occurred so far within the book. Students identify the pros and cons of each conflict. The teams will then vote on the one conflict that they will use to create a comic strip.

Teams construct a comic strip drawing from their chosen conflict within the book. The comic strip is at least five frames long and in sequential order. When the teams are finished they can present the strip to the rest of the class or can role play their comic strip for added fun.

The class finishes reading the book using various methods, home reading, team reading, etc.

Teams play a full game of TFJ. Team process for playing TFJ we call Speaker of the Team. The Leader of each Team will be the person who buzzes in using SideKeys. Team member responsibility is to determine which answer they think is correct and visually display the answer. The Recorder's job is to determine which answer is the majority and relay that to the Leader. The Timekeeper's job is to warn all about the time remaining. This is a great time for the teacher to observe and take notes on how each team interacts with its members. Notes can be used for positive feedback to groups later.

Individual grades can be determined by a quiz regarding the aspects of conflict in literature and overall comprehension of the book. Another method we are using is to have each student write a paragraph describing their conflict resolution or lack of it according to the novel.

Submitted by: Anne Waites, Karen Derner and Deb Szymkowiak
Harrison School District #36 Wonder Lake, Illinois

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