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According to The Seven Basic Plots, by author Christopher Booker, the actual plots of most stories are not original. Rather, there are seven basic plots that get reused, refreshed, and remodeled - hopefully in original ways.
These charts describe the basics of each of these plots and divide them into seven sections each: Exposition, Rising Action 1, Rising Action 2, Rising Action 3, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. This helps them match up well with the 5-part “plot roller coaster” that many teachers use to explain the parts of a story.
These charts can be used as a set or individually. They can be used as graphic organizers to help readers make sense of a text or help writers plan a story.
There is also a side-by-side comparison chart at the end that can help you explain the concepts and help students decide which plot line a story best falls into.
You can find longer explanations of each of the plots here: http://roxannaelden.com/2015/09/do-you-need-an-original-plot-to-be-a-good-writer-the-seven-basic-plots-divided-into-seven-sections-each/
This is a language arts teaching resource from Roxanna Elden, author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers and creator of the New Teacher Disillusionment Power Pack. If you’d like to sign up for monthly emails with free resources and funny, honest, practical tips for teachers, please visit www.roxannaelden.com.