This lesson plan presents an enriching approach to teaching plot development—an essential narrative skill—to students. Utilizing SoCreate Writer, the learning process becomes an interactive and enjoyable journey, enhancing students' understanding and application of plot development techniques.
By the end of this lesson, students will understand the essential elements of a plot and will be able to create an original plot for a short film using SoCreate.
A computer with internet access for each student/group, SoCreate accounts for each student/group, projector for teacher demonstrations.
1-2 class periods
Begin by asking students if they know what a plot is. After taking some answers, explain that a plot is the sequence of events in a story, and it's what drives the story forward.
Discuss the key elements of a plot: exposition, rising action or inciting incident, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Show a short, simple film or scene that clearly demonstrates these elements. Discuss it as a class, identifying each part of the plot.
Introduce SoCreate to the class, explaining that it's a professional scriptwriting software that they'll be using to develop their own plots.
Demonstrate how to use SoCreate on the projector. Show them how to start a new project, write a scene, and add characters and locations.
Discuss how each scene in a script should contribute to the overall plot. Show them the "Outline" feature in SoCreate, which can help them plan their plot by stacking Story Structure elements like acts and scenes.
Here’s how a traditional 3-act structure story might play out in terms of plot points:
Exposition: Introduces the setup (characters, world) of the story
Inciting Incident: The conflict that changes the course of the protagonist's life
Plot Point One: Often a point of no return, the protagonist is forced on their journey. This plot point ushers us into Act 2.
Rising Action: The Protagonist begins to see major challenges or obstacles
Midpoint: The stakes are rising, and the protagonist encounters their biggest setback or plot twist yet
Plot Point Two: The protagonist discovers something that invigorates them
Darkest Hour: The protagonist is ready to overcome their biggest obstacle or face the antagonist, but they face their biggest setback. There's no hope. How can the protagonist possibly win?
Climax: The highest point of action. Against all odds, the protagonist uses all they've learned to overcome.
Denouement: The protagonist has ended their conflict, and a resolution is reached. Storylines are wrapped up.
Have students work in pairs or small groups to develop a plot for a short film. They should start by discussing their ideas and deciding on a basic story.
Next, students should use SoCreate's Outline feature to plan their plot. They should create a new scene for each plot point, summarizing what happens and identifying which part of the plot it represents (exposition, rising action, etc.).
Encourage students to think about how the events in their plot build tension and lead up to a climax. They should also consider how the falling action and resolution wrap up the story and resolve any conflicts.
Have a few groups share their plots with the class. They can present their SoCreate Outline and explain the events in their story.
As a class, discuss how well each plot adheres to the structure discussed earlier. Ask students to identify the rising action, climax, and resolution in their classmates' plots.