The literary term plot is used to sum up all the major events that take place throughout a story. This is often in the form of a major conflict or struggle between characters or their environment. The plot normal follows a sequence or pattern. Depending on the work the pattern may be predictable. Most highly esteemed works will have an unpredictable plot or at least a twist that was not easy for the reader to see coming. The plot normally ends in some form of resolution. Even stories that are carried over several works will form a resolution on sub-plots before ending a work. Most stories follow the same basic structure. They start by introducing the characters, setting, and central conflict (exposition), contain events that build in scope (rising action) until the "big event" (climax), after which, various conflicts are dealt with (falling action) until the end, where the lessons are learned or all conflicts are dealt with (resolution).
These worksheets will have your students mapping essential elements of children's stories and fables to this pattern. Students will be required to pinpoint actions in very well-known works. We ask students to identify the exposition where a great deal of background information is shared. They will then identify the rising action where the main challenge is identified. The middle of the work will often result in a climax where tensions are their highest. As the resolution starts to take shape a falling action is able to be found. The story normally will end in a resolution to the conflict or challenge. Answer keys are provided as you might find them very helpful when grading. Fun Project Idea: Have your students bring in their favorite books or stories and perform the same exercise, and present the result to the class.