Go to the top of BLOOM’S TAXONOMY to teach PLOT development. Use INFERENCING, QUESTIONING, and VISUALIZATION to build a story line from a tiny piece of “heart-stopping” dialog. The PREVIEW PowerPoint outlines the procedure and can be used as the mini-lesson. PLEASE use the preview PowerPoint as a free mini-lesson even you don't buy the download.
What is a “heart stopping” dialog segment? It’s a single statement like “Houston, we’ve had a problem” that opens memory channels or kindles curiosity. “What could possibly go wrong? . . . go wrong? . . . go wrong?” is another one. It suggests a multitude of possibilities. Tiny dialog segments like these can be powerful hooks*(in this case “hooking” the writer’s imagination). They are part of a larger picture, a story just waiting to be told. In these examples, it’s those two words, “problem” and “wrong”, that make them work because they address the very essence of writing fiction.
The 24 heart-stoppers included in this download range in their level of intensity, from every day, “realistic” situations to action/adventure, but they all lead to the same conclusion – there’s a problem to deal with.
These materials were developed with middle-school in mind. State standards (such as TEKS) begin to use phrases such as - write an imaginative story that: (i) sustains reader interest (ii) includes well -paced action and an engaging story line. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. Common Core is similar . . . .
Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
PLEASE be aware that this download focuses on plot and story line. Sensory images, literary devises, etc. are not addressed here.
Some of your students will be able to choose a heart-stopper and build stories around it with little, or no, instruction. Others will need support. So, a number of different approaches are suggested in the Teachers’ Guide. The different approaches can also be applied to the way the material is used with different grade levels.