Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media
Parts of a Plot
Students identify the parts of a plot in a fiction story.
I can:

Identify the parts of a plot.

Tech Skills:
  • Drag and Drop

  • Typing in Answer Boxes

  • Highlight (If using digital texts)

Materials and Resources:

Texts of your choice

  • One to three short texts

  • One long text, such as a novel

  • Texts can be digital or printed. If using printed short texts, you will need highlighters. Or, you may wish to use clear plastic sleeves and light colored dry erase markers to save paper. If using digital texts, you will need an application with a built in highlighter or an extension for your web browser.

  • Recommended applications include Actively Learn for highlighting texts and the Chrome Web Browser’s Super Simple Highlighter extension.


Premade, digital graphic organizer to share with students. Examples are provided in the plan.

Grade Level:
  • 6th Grade (with applications at higher grade levels)
Subject Area:
  • Language Arts


Activity 1

  • Depending on the grade level of your students, introduce or review the five parts of a plot. Depending on your school’s chosen terminology, the definitions of each part of the plot may differ slightly from district to district.

    Exposition- Readers are introduced to the characters, setting, and main conflict.

    Rising Action- Tension builds as the characters try to solve the conflict, but often find complications that prevent the conflict from being solved.

    Climax- This is the turning point. Often it is referred to as the most tense part of the story.

    Falling Action- After the climax, the story is becoming less tense as characters begin to solve minor problems and are making progress toward solving the main conflict.

    Resolution- The story’s conflict is resolved and any loose ends in the story are tied up. The story ends.

  • Provide students with a grade-appropriate short text. This can be digital or print, though digital would be best. Provide students with the needed tools to highlight, such as an extension on their web browsers, highlighters, or clear plastic sleeves and dry erase markers. If possible, provide students with five color options.

  • As you read the text, ask students to highlight and label the text depending on the part of the plot it represents. Preferably, students will be able to color code each section of the plot in a different color.

  • Repeat the activity with multiple short texts until the students are able to apply the skills in a longer text, such as a novel.


Activity 2

  • Select a novel for class, group, or individual work.

  • Provide students with a copy of the novel, digitally or in print.

  • If using a digital text, continue to use highlighting skills as students identify parts of the plot or use other comprehension skills.

  • Provide students with a digital graphic organizer that consists of text boxes that can be dragged and dropped into sections for each part of the plot.

    The organizer can be shared via email, a link, in Google Classroom, or any other appropriate method depending on your technology setup.

    See a sample Google Slides template here. Make a copy of the template to customize and share with students.

    Any word processing program will work. Just be sure it can create text boxes to be dragged.

    Students can be asked to organize provided content or to create their own and use their drag and drop skills to organize.

  • As the novel is read, pause to discuss the parts of the plot and complete parts of the organizer. Or, you can use it as a summative activity when the novel is finished.

  • Completed organizers can be turned in using methods available to you, such as Google Classroom. Organizers can also be completed as a class.



Practice Activity

  • Using the free game website Kahoot, create a jumble. This will allow students to place the parts of a plot in the appropriate order by using their drag and drop skills.

Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

The RL.3 standard at higher grade levels requires students to have knowledge of plot structure for use with further application style activities.

Supplementary Resources: is a website with texts that can be interacted with digitally, including highlighting. is an assessment making website that allows teachers to make assessments with drag and drop questions, as well as many other styles of questions.
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