Ms. Hofeldt
Short Story Unit Plan
Bargain by A.B.Guthrie – Focus on Plot
Common Core Standards:
- 2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text
- 3 Analyze how particular elements of a story interact
- Students will define plot when used in a short story.
- Students will label parts of plot development to understand necessary elements for constructing a plot.
- Students will identify rising action, climax, and falling action in the story.
- Students will construct their own idea of a climax and therefore change the falling action of the story, to prepare for the final assessment.
Reading Reason: Reading makes you a better writer.
Bell Work: (5 minutes)
Students will correct the sentence “yay I don’t have homework after school Kate said. wow that would be nice sighed Jim.” Students will be asked to correct the interjections and quotation errors. Short discussion of corrections will be led by the instructor after corrections are made.
Activity 1: (5-10 minutes)
- The instructor will have ‘Plot’ written on the board and will ask for volunteers to define plot.
- Ideas/definitions from the students will be written on the board around the word plot.
Activity 2: (25 minutes)
- The students will all turn to the short story and will be instructed to read in groups of two (they can pick their own groups), taking turns by paragraphs.
- The students will be instructed to place a sticky note near events that could contribute to plot.
Activity 3: (10-15 minutes)
- When finished reading, students will return to their desks.
- The instructor will have a ‘plot chart’ written out on the board for them. (An example is attached)
- The instructor will ask students to volunteer ideas for the rising action of the story. Then the students will share ideas for the climax and the falling action.
- The instructor will record answers all along the plot chart, and will discuss the events as they are written down.
Activity 4: (15-20 minutes)
- Students will then be asked to pretend they are the author of “Bargain.” As the author, they are to make a different climax of the story and therefore change the falling action, or the ending of the story. Should reading the short story take a much greater amount of time, students could be asked to only change the climax of the story, rather than both the climax and falling action/conclusion.
- Students will be informed they can write out their ideas using a plot chart and then write the story out in paragraph form as the author already has.
- Students will also be asked to include at least two interjections into their stories.
- If time permits at the end of the class period students will be asked to share their changes to the story.
- Students will be asked to complete their plot changes and turn them in the following day if they are not able to finish during class.
- Students will receive six points for the activity. Three points will be given for making a change of the climactic event. Three points will be given for changing the falling action of the story accordingly.
Example Plot Chart:

(This does not show up on Wikispaces so if you'd like a copy let me know.)

Example Rubric:
Change of Climax
Original change of climax clearly stated on plot chart and present in written story
Original change of climax stated on plot chart or present in written story
Climax change made but lacks originality or is unclear
Change of Falling Action/Conclusion
Falling action and conclusion make sense following new climax of story
Falling action or conclusion changed to match new climax
Falling action and conclusion are changed but do not connect with new climax