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Studying Plot Structure

Studying Plot Structure

Every story has some sort of a structure.  
Today we will talk about teaching two types: 
circular and cumulative story structures and how to use teach them to your students
Cumulative story structure

A cumulative story structure adds repeating plot elements or characters until it topples over!  That's why sometimes it's called a toppling story.  Some classics are The House That Jack Built and There was an old lady who swallowed a fly

Circular story structure

A circular story structure follows a circle.  It has various events but always come back to the beginning. Some examples are If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff or Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant.
Using them in the classroom

To use them in the classroom, first your kids must understand them.
Read them various stories using the structure and break them down together.  
After that, have kids write their own tales!
I love having the kids do this and then they read them to the little ones and give them their books.
Need some help?

I broke it all down for you here.
Just click on the image to go to my store.
As you can see, I like to do them as a holiday activity to keep my holiday work academic!

What ways will you teach story structure
 in your classroom?

Check out these amazing bloggers for more ideas!

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How can I make your job easier this year?  Let me know in the comments.  If I use your ideas for a blog post, you will win $10 to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Even better, if I use your ideas to make a resource in my store, LisaTeachR's Classroom, I'll send you a free copy of that resource! 


  1. Great ideas for holiday writing! I love your GIFs!

  2. These are great ideas and nice to-the-point explanations.


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