Analyzing Plot Elements


ELAR-Grade-8 Literary Genres Analyzing Plot Elements
Students read a non-linear story and analyze the elements of its plot. Next, they find flashback in the story. Finally, they read a linear story and compare its plot to that of the non-linear example.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for Analyzing Plot Elements:

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Overview

In this experience, students read a non-linear story and analyze the elements of its plot. Next, they find flashback in the story. Finally, they read a linear story and compare its plot to that of the non-linear example. 

Objectives

  • Analyze plot elements.
  • Identify and analyze non-linear plot development.
  • Compare two plots: one non-linear and one linear.

Duration

One class period. You may choose to have the students read the short stories (provided in the Student Pack) at home before beginning the experience.

Vocabulary Words Used in “The Lumber Room”

  • improvise: make up on the spot
  • illumination: lighting
  • stag: a male deer

Vocabulary Words Used in “The Sniper”

  • enveloped: completely covered
  • fanatic: someone excessively passionate about a cause
  • fractured: broken
  • recoil: to fall back suddenly in reaction to something
  • remorse: sense of guilt at having committed a wrong


For most readers, the thing that first gets them interested in a story is the plot—the actions that occur and the way they build excitement from beginning to end. In this experience, you will learn about two specific, contrasting kinds of plots.

Objectives

  • Analyze plot elements.
  • Identify and analyze non-linear plot development.
  • Compare two plots: one non-linear and one linear.


sheet of paper in a typewriter, with the word “plot” typed on it

The word linear means “in a straight line.” Not surprisingly, the word non-linear means “not in a straight line.”

Both of those words will be important in this experience about the plots of stories.


How might the words linear and non-linear apply to stories?

Post your answer

Discuss student responses. At this point, students are not expected to know the correct answer. The question and students’ guesses are intended to arouse interest in the experience.

The correct answer is that linear plots begin with the first event and then proceed in chronological order through each succeeding event until they reach the end. Non-linear plots depart from chronological order at some points, such as by using flashback to narrate events from the story’s past.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in Literary Genres Unit.
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