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Fun Ways to Teach a Plot to 2nd Graders

    Picture Books and Gestures

    • Teaching plot with picture books can be effective at the second grade level. The visual element can help keep the interest of younger students and may offer a better way to see the progression of plot. In conjunction, use gestures to illustrate elements of plot such as rising and falling action, climax, exposition and resolution. Gestures such as having students squat and slowly rise to illustrate the concept of action that builds or rubbing their hands together to indicate finished (as in the story resolution) can help place the theory of plot in a more visual light.

    Telling a Fresh Story Verbally

    • Go over the elements of plot with your children, highlighting the portions of the story that correspond to these elements, then allow children to re-tell the story, following the plot elements as closely as possible while adding their own plot twists. This can be exciting for children because each story will come out slightly different with the addition of original material, but the overall ending of the story should remain the same.

    Plot Through Song

    • Second grade and other elementary students often enjoy singing or rapping. Take advantage of this by using song to each plot. Write original songs detailing the elements of plot or explaining them in rhyme, or use some of those available online. Songs and raps can be effective for teaching plot because the singing reiterates the information and helps solidify it, much in the same way the ABC song does.

    Plot Identification

    • Choose simple stories to read to students, then ask children to identify specific elements of plot in the story. Fairy tales are easy to break down for children of this age group. Break children into five groups that represent the basic five elements of plot: exposition, rising action, falling action, climax and resolution. Then discuss the elements of plot and go around the room, allowing these groups of children to select the portions of the story they feel belong to their group. Make a game of it. The team that selects the most correctly wins the game.

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