Basic Plot Structure – Voyage and Return

Booker's Voyage and Return

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Voyage and Return.’ In this type of plot, the main character enters another land where normal rules don’t apply. This ‘dream world’ is often very different from his own home. The character must overcome threats. He conquers or escapes the world before returning home a more mature person.

In the new land, logic and common sense don’t apply. The hero must ask for advice from allies. Unfortunately, these are often tricksters that lead the character into deeper trouble. Continue Reading

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Five Ideas for Teaching Point of View

Five Ideas for Teaching Point of View with Free Printable Activities

Teaching point of view can be both challenging and fun. The Common Core State Standards includes a point of view standard at each grade level.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.6
Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
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Basic Plot Structure – The Quest

Booker's The Quest

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘The Quest.’ In ‘The Quest’ plot, the main character, along with some companions, sets out to find an important object or priceless treasure. This plot is the most likely to have a group of main characters. The questors might include:

  • a close friend
  • a sidekick (A sidekick is a person who helps and spends a lot of time with someone who is usually more important and powerful.)
  • a generic group (soldiers)
  • a set of characters that each have their own stories (These usually have brains, heart, and strength to help the hero.)

They face many obstacles and temptations along the way. The hero obtains the treasure and returns home.
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Parent Connection Newsletters

The Parent Connection Newsletter is now available in an editable version. Use the original text or edit it to personalize for your parents and students.

A couple years ago, I created a blog post series of eight newsletters teachers could send to parents each month with ideas to help promote reading. This popular series has received thousands of views and downloads. The comment I receive most often is that teachers would like to personalize the letters before sending them home with their students. Due to this, I am creating an editable version. A link to the templates is located at the bottom of this post. 

Each newsletter contains four articles. These include “Tips,” “Free Online Resources,” “Thinking out of the Box,” and “Activity to Try.”  Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Structure – Rags to Riches

Booker's Rags to Riches

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Rags to Riches.’ In this plot, the main character gains power, wealth, or a mate.  In the beginning of the story, the character is clearly at the bottom of the social hierarchy. This character is unhappy but deserves better. The character is then put into a better situation and everything appears to go well. Something takes place that causes the character to almost lose what has been gained. The character must then overcome the crisis. Others may laugh at his efforts, yet the person persists. The character learns from going through the predicament. Finally the character gets the life he wished for. This may or may not be the life the character wanted at the beginning of the story.

Plot Description

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Index Card Storage

Two No-Cost Ways to Store Vocabulary Cards

If you have purchased any of my novel studies, you know that I love using index cards to teach vocabulary words. Working with index cards is both fantastic and frustrating. Students often lose a few when notebooks are dropped. I wanted to come up with a little/no-cost solution to prevent students from losing their cards. I wondered — What could I use for storage boxes? Continue Reading

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Basic Plot Structure – Overcoming the Monster

Booker's Overcoming the Monster

Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. One of these seven is ‘Overcoming the Monster.’ In this plot, the main character sets out to defeat the evil bad guy. This antagonist usually harms others that get in his way. This selfish character sometimes causes a threat to the hero’s homelandThe selfless hero rescues others such as a princess or destroys a terrifying beast.

Plot Description

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