Category: Lesson Plan

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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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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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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Teaching the Greek Myth Arachne the Spinner

Free Mini Lesson for Arachne the Spinner

The Greek myth Arachne the Spinner is perfect for teaching a number of Common Core literature standards. Read the myth. Then enjoy the mini-lesson covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, and writing. Look for a link to the handout at the bottom of the post.

Arachne

A young girl named Arachne learned how to weave from the nymphs who would leave their groves and fountains to come and watch her work. Arachne’s weavings were not only beautiful, but watching her twirl the spindle with a skillful touch was a rare treat. One day Arachne boasted, “Let the goddess Minerva try to weave as well as I do. If she beats me, I will pay the penalty.”
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Teaching the Greek Myth Orpheus and Eurydice

Free Mini Lesson for Orpheus and Eurydice

The Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice is perfect for teaching a number of Common Core literature standards. Read the myth. Then enjoy the mini-lesson covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, and writing. Look for a link to the handout at the bottom of the post.

Orpheus

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Using Animated Shorts to Teach Problems and Solutions

Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Short Films

If you are looking to add some high interest activities to your lessons, try using animated shorts to teach problems and solutions. 

This post contains the animated short “Taking the Plunge” found on Vimeo and inserted in this post. In this animated short, the main character has a problem he must solve. Handouts, leveled for upper elementary students, with graphic organizers encourage students to think about problems and solutions. You can download the handout here. Continue Reading

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Teaching the Greek Myth Daedalus and Icarus

Free Mini Lesson for Daedalus and Icarus

The Greek myth Daedalus and Icarus is perfect for teaching a number of Common Core literature standards. Read the myth. Then enjoy the mini-lesson covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, and writing. Look for a link to the handout at the bottom of the post.

The Gift

Daedalus wanted to honor the newborn princess with a special gift. He created a mechanical bird that chirped when the sun rose. This was quite a gift in the age of using sun dials to tell time. Everyone who saw the mechanical bird was amazed. King Minos came to Daedalus and asked if he could help with a special project. He was seeking a way to keep the Minotaur imprisoned. This half-bull and half-man creature was dangerous. Continue Reading

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