Education Technology

NCTE: Collaborating on Conflict and Plot

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Using one or more short stories of the teacher's choosing, the students will analyze conflict and plot. Students will then evaluate how the conflict and plot are used to contribute to the meaning and literary merit of the selected short stories.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the NoteFolio™ App on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Decide if the entire class will read the same story in their groups or if each group will read and analyze a different story. Be sure to have enough copies of the story or stories for the entire class.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the NoteFolio file(s) to your class using TI Connect™ and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Comprehend the terms plot, exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, and internal and external conflict.
  • Analyze a short story to identify the conflict and label the parts of the plot.
  • Develop their own detailed plots for a story.
  • Identify and evaluate the literary element of plot in professional models and peer writing.
  • After the Activity

    When all students have a copy of their group's file on their devices, bring the class back together to share and evaluate the different responses to the group critiques. Use this exercise to evaluate the responses for accuracy, and clarify concepts that are unclear to the students. Students should agree on and understand conflict and plot as developed in the stories.

    To complete this activity, lead the students in a critique of the author's use of conflict and plot as related to the meaning and literary merit of the story. Be sure they cover all aspects of the plot's development as well as the techniques the author used to build the plot. Have the students update their group response with additional information during this discussion, if they wish.

    Inform the class that in the next class meeting, they will be designing original plots based on conflicts of their own creation. They will use the criteria they have just discussed to do this. If this lesson is part of a unit that will end with the students writing their own narrative story, their plot and conflict can be designed around the characters and settings they created in the lessons on "Character and Characterization and Setting."