When writing narratives, many times middle school writers unintentionally create story gaps that leave their readers frustrated and wondering a little too much at the end. Story gaps occur because writers get lost in the details of writing and forget the big picture. This graphic organizer will help students stay on track as they plan and write their own original stories.
Prior to use, it is important students are familiar with the elements of plot as readers. This organizer can be used alongside a mentor text to map out how a professional storyteller uses the plot elements.
Once students are familiar with the plot elements, use this graphic organizer as a pre-writing activity, during conferring sessions, or even as a reflection "check list". NOTE: This can be a powerful conferencing tool. For struggling writers, use it to help them plan and suggest they use it as a checklist as they write. For more accomplished young writers, have them compare the graphic organizer to their draft writing, then zero in on one area they could develop more thoroughly. Typically when students come to a conference with this organizer, it becomes clear really fast where the student is and what the next step should be.