Focus of the lesson: narrative structure, plot, and setting To the student

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MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGLISH INSTRUCTION: Unit 2, Lesson 1


Focus of the lesson: narrative structure, plot, and setting
To the student:
This lesson introduces a unit on fictional and nonfiction narratives. In our reading units, we will be using the online edition of the Holt Elements of Literature, Second Course Enhanced ©2005.
1. NARRATIVE STRUCTURE/PLOT
Narrative structure describes the arrangement of the plot found in most fictional selections. Click on the link below for an explanation of plot and its elements.
Elements of the Short Story - plot
Below is an example of plot structure in a familiar story, “The Three Little Pigs.”


  • EXPOSITION – The story introduces the pigs and their situation—they are leaving their mother’s home and have to build some kind of shelter.

  • NARRATIVE HOOK - The story describes the danger posed by the wolf, who would love nothing more than to eat the pigs.

  • RISING ACTION - The pigs build houses to try to shelter themselves from the wolf.

  • CONFLICT – The wolf destroys the house of straw and then the house of sticks. In some versions of the stories, he eats the two pigs whose houses he has blown down, and in others the pigs run and find shelter with the pig who has built the brick house.
  • CLIMAX – Unable to blow down the brick house, the wolf climbs on the roof to come down the chimney.


  • FALLING ACTION - The pig inside prepares a kettle of boiling water in the fireplace, and the wolf is scalded to death when he lands in it.

  • RESOLUTION – At least one pig lives happily ever after.


ACTIVITY 2-1-1
EXERCISE ON PLOT



  1. Read the story “The Landlady,” found on pages 72-79 in the online text of Holt Elements of Literature, Second Course Enhanced ©2005.

  2. Answer the questions on the next page of this lesson.


NOTE: Answers will vary. Don’t worry about getting THE right answer. More than one interpretation is possible for the events in the story.

The Landlady” – Questions on PLOT





  1. What does the reader learn in the story’s exposition?

2. What is the narrative hook in the story?

3. What are some events or details that make up the rising action?

4. What is the climax of the story?

5. What falling action occurs in the story?

6. What is the resolution in the story?




2. SETTING
Read the information on setting in the Holt online literature text, pp. 236-237. Do NOT do the activity at the bottom of page 237.

Questions that help the reader analyze the setting are:

1. When does the story occur?

2. Where does it occur?

3. Why is the main character in this particular setting?

4. How does the setting affect the main character?

5. How does the setting help create tension?


6. How does the setting help determine the action?
ACTIVITY 2-1-2
ACTIVITIES FOR SETTING
Complete Activities A and B on setting, found at the following

website:

Setting Activities


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