Friday, September 6, 2013

Internal and External Conflict

Whole class lesson and group practice:
I drew a stick figure on the whiteboard and started with an explanation of internal conflict. I had the kids meet with a group for 2 minutes to write internal conflicts on Post It notes and put them on the board. I read them out loud and wrote the ones that were correct INSIDE the t-shirt I drew for my stick figure. We repeated the process for external conflict, and I wrote the conflicts OUTSIDE the stick figure with arrows pointing to him. Students took notes on copies of stick figures (with clothes so we could show internal conflict).
There was a boy stick figure, too, but I didn't get a picture.
Independent practice:
We just finished a story about a girl with a several internal and external conflicts. I had the kids draw a stick representation of her and then use the story to record conflicts.

Doodle Splash

I've found that students who say they don't like to read are also the ones who say they don't see the story like a movie in their heads. Good readers can see the events in their minds as they read. This is a great activity to help kids visualize what they're reading.

Doodle Splash:
We listened to a short story, All Summer in a Day, and created doodles IN ORDER to represent events. They were allowed to use a few words for labeling, but most of the story must be told with doodles. I told them that by the end of the activity, they should be able to retell the story to a friend using only the Doodle Splash page. Here are some samples.

Teaching Plot

1.  Whole class lesson:
After reviewing plot elements with a plot mountain diagram from our workbooks, we created a plot mountain for the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story. I retold the story and wrote the elements on the whiteboard with the kids' input.

2. Group practice:
Groups read a children's book out loud.

Then they drew a plot mountain and added events from the story in the correct places.

When they presented, I discussed any misconceptions and had them make corrections.

 3. Independent evaluation:
Students created a plot mountain in their STAR notebooks and recorded elements of a story we had read together from the textbook. After checking the first group, I decided I needed to read the story out loud again and stop to let students make a list of events first. Then they could decide where the climax was and put all of the elements on the mountain. That worked MUCH better!