Gay Miller

Author's posts

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

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=7347

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

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=7328

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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Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=6390

Novel Study Feedback

Novel Studies Feedback

I am continually looking for ways to improve my novel studies. Because I of this, I am searching for ten volunteers who would like to provide feedback on one of my novel studies in exchange for the free novel study unit plus a $10 TPT gift certificate.

Here’s What You Do

  1. Look through my novel units on TPT. This link will take you to ninety-five choices. Select any unit except the three free units I offer that you plan to teach in the upcoming school year.
  2. Fill out the form below that tells me your name, e-mail address, and first three novel choices. I will try to give everyone their first choice.
  3. As you teach the unit with your students, spend no more than five minutes at the end of each day and jot down notes that you think would help me to improve the unit. This may include the following:
  • typos/mistakes that need to be corrected
  • instructions that are unclear
  • questions students didn’t understand
  • things that went really well (This would be helpful to me when I create future units.)
  • basically any advise would be greatly appreciated

4. When you finish the unit, e-mail me the notes, and I will send you the $10 TPT gift certificate. Continue Reading

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=7321

Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

Basic Plot Patterns in Literature

Several researchers have attempted to categorize basic plot patterns in literature. William Foster-Harris thinks stories can be sorted into three basic patterns. Ronald B. Tabias theorizes 20 Master Plots. Georges Polti writes about The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. Kurt Vonnegut  argues that all stories can be outlined into one basic shape. Christopher Booker’s book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories outlines seven plots. 

So just how many basic plots are there? Everyone has a different opinion. Continue Reading

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=6360