School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 7

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 3. Analyze elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding and interpretation

Objective b. Analyze the events of the plot


Students will read a short narrative text. After reading, students will be given a narrative map that lists all plot elements. Together teacher and students will complete the narrative map. Next students will be directed to delete or cover from sight the conflict information. Then teacher and students will discuss how the removal of the conflict changes the plot. Finally students will list all the changes that removal of the conflict causes within the plot. Students might then categorize these changes by impact on character, setting, theme, etc... or create a list from greatest to least impact on the plot.

Narrative Map
Rising Action
Falling Action


The teacher and students will read a short narrative text and then list each decision made by a character on a Decision-Making Diagram. This will allow students to see the relationship between a character's decision and the effect of that decision on the plot. Students will need to know what the decision is, who made it, and why the decision was made, listing positive and negative effects for the decision-maker and other characters. Then each decision should be placed in the time order of the story to determine whether each decision stands alone or served as a cause for other decisions.

Decision-Making Diagram

Decision # ___
Positive Impact
Negative Impact


Students will read a short narrative text. After reading is complete, the teacher and students will list the story events in the order of their occurrence. Once the list is finished with teacher direction students will locate the conflict in the text. Next teacher and students will look at the story events that preceded the conflict and rate each event in regard to that event's causal relationship to the conflict on a scale of 0-3 with zero indicating no effect and three indicating major effect.


First, the teacher will locate a narrative text with a major plot and multiple subplots. Prior to students' reading the text, the teacher will provide them with a completed plot chart for the major plot. After reviewing that chart, students will be instructed to read the text for subplots. Once students have read the text and identified the subplots, the subplots should be charted as was the major plot. Next students and teacher should discuss how the subplots work in the design of the text determining whether each subplot was a spin-off of the major plot or exists independently of the major plot.