Posted by: nancyisanders | May 11, 2015

Chapter Book: Plotting Your Mentor Text

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In our last post about writing our early chapter book, we talked about the ending of our plot. How do you want your story to end?

Next we’ll talk about what happens in the middle of your story’s plot. But to LEARN from the pros, let’s first take another look at our mentor text. What happened in the middle of our mentor text? What was the turning point of the entire story?

First, let’s recap what we’ve discovered about the beginning and the end of Stink:

Beginning:
Stink is the shortest person in the whole world.

Middle:
??

Ending:
Stink knows he’ll grow in time because it’s all part of the life cycle.

Now let’s look inside our mentor text, Stink. Let’s dig around in the middle of the book. Let’s look for the knot that ties the beginning to the end. It’s like a gold nugget hiding in a mine, waiting for us to discover it and bring it to light!

Since Stink is 102 pages long, let’s turn to page 61. That’s exactly in the middle.

Page 61 starts with the sentence, “On Monday morning, when Stink told Mrs. D. about the G.D.I. (Garbage Disposal Incident), she said, “Let’s just tell the class Newton ran away. It’ll be our little secret.”

Okay, it’s pretty obvious that Newton going down the disposal is what happened in the middle of the book. But let’s go backward or forward a page or two to find the “a ha” moment, the moment of transformation, the moment when the characters change regarding this incident.

Again, we’re trying to find the gold nugget in the middle that ties the beginning to the end.

Turn back to page 58. Look at this conversation between Judy and Stink:

“What am I going to tell Mrs. Dempster? And my class?”
“They’ll understand. It’s all part of the life cycle, Stink.”
“The garbage disposal is NOT part of the life cycle!” said Stink.

Bingo! We found the gold nugget!!!! Look how this fits into the beginning and end:

Beginning:
Stink is the shortest person in the whole world.

Middle:
Newton grows…then is gone. It’s all part of the life cycle that Newton went down the drain.

Ending:
Stink knows he’ll grow in time because it’s all part of the life cycle.

I think that works, don’t you? It shows the thread that ties this whole story together from beginning to middle to end.

This is the gold nugget we’ll be looking for as we brainstorm ideas for the middle of our story plot, too.

And if you’re just joining us and want to catch up with us, CLICK HERE to read the first post on our new chapter book adventure. Then scroll through the posts on up until today’s.


Responses

  1. Excellent, Nancy! I must dig out my son’s copy of Stink and read it!

    • Thanks, Tina. I enjoyed this story so much I had to buy the next 2 as well. I’m in the middle of reading them now! Happy reading.


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