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Understanding the Elements of Plot

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Teresa Dunlap

on 13 October 2016

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Transcript of Understanding the Elements of Plot

"What Happened?"
"What happened?" You often ask this question when you want to know what is going on. In a story, the answer to "What happened?" is the plot.
Most plots have a basic structure like this:
Inciting Incident
Rising Action
Falling Action
Watch "Partly Cloudy" and write down what happens in the story!
One cloud makes dangerous baby animals and the stork that delivers for him doesn't seem to enjoy delivering them.
The storm cloud stops crying as he sees the stork flying back to him carrying a bundle.
Falling Action: the conflict unravels
Exposition: The part of the story in which we are introduced to the characters, setting, and the basic situation.
Inciting Incident or Conflict:the problem that sets the plot in motion
Rising Action: the part of the story in which the main character faces a series of conflicts on his or her journey toward reaching a goal
Climax: the point of highest emotional intensity or suspense in a plot. This marks the moment when the conflict takes a turn.
Resolution: the closing part of the story in which we learn how the characters have dealt with the outcome of the conflict.
Let's look at each of the elements of plot
using Pixar's Partly Cloudy....
Characters: Clouds and Storks
Setting: The sky
Situation: the clouds make babies for the storks to deliver.
The storm cloud continues to make dangerous animals for the stork to deliver including an alligator, a ram, a porcupine,
The stork pretends to be okay with his deliveries, but he actually envies all of the other stokes and the "safe" babies that they get to deliver.
The storm is upset that the stork keeps getting hurt, but seems to love the babies that he is creating.
The stork seems to be tired of always being hurt and leaves the storm cloud. The storm cloud gets angry and then starts to cry.
The story opens the package to reveal the football gear to help him to continue to deliver the storm clouds babies without getting hurt.
It's your turn! Map out the plot elements of Pixar's Presto!
The direction the plot takes can lead us to determine the
of a story
Theme: the central message of a work of literature. The theme can be expressed in at least one complete sentence.
It is the lesson that the story teaches us about life!
The theme is not directly stated.
The reader makes an educated guess after thinking about the elements of the story.
So what do you think the theme of this story is?
Friends make sacrifices for each other


There is always a way to make a rough situation better.
What happened? Who were the characters? What was the most intense part? How did it end?
Full transcript