Learning Plot with the WD, Part 2

We ended up teaching plot to our high school class a week after our middle school teams, so I took the results from Columbus and reworked the lesson plan before Friday. Normally we start our classes with a freewrite, then teach the lesson and finish off with an activity. However, our first quarter with Wooden has shown us we need to adapt our traditional routine to better fit this group of students, so we tried Kate’s suggestion doing an activity first and teaching the lesson second.

I think it worked.

First, the starting activity: Each student drew three cards—one each for character, setting, and a story starter—and had 30 minutes to write or plan a short story based on the cards.

Second, the lesson: we drew a plot mountain on the board and explained its different components. (I even made a fancy little graphic for this week’s lesson plan because I was avoiding finals.) Continue reading “Learning Plot with the WD, Part 2”


The Moment

Some stories draw me in right away. From the first page I’m plunged into a high-stakes adventure or an intense drama. They’re the books I pick up to fill an hour and end up staying for two, then three, then four hours. I tell myself I’ll read only a few more pages…then a few more…and a few more…until I realize it’s two in the morning and I’ve just spent the whole day in a chair instead of doing other somewhat important things.*

Other stories start out slow. They seem to drag on, taking their own sweet time to set up for the real action.  It gets to the point where I’m only continuing to read because I have this point of pride where I finish every book I start.**

Then, suddenly—BAM. I can’t put it down. Continue reading “The Moment”