Lesson Plan

Developing a Rough Draft of a Short Story, Revising


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Big Ideas




Students write rough drafts of their own stories. They analyze and respond to the stories written by their classmates and receive feedback for their own stories in preparation for a final draft. Students will:

  • recognize and correct vague pronouns.
  • analyze story structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution) and other literary elements in the stories of their classmates.
  • identify techniques used to develop characters and setting in the stories of their classmates.
  • identify examples of showing instead of telling in the stories of their classmates.
  • identify the point of view used in the stories of their classmates.
  • revise the first draft of their own story, taking into consideration the responses of their classmates as well as their own ideas.
  • listen to and respond to the writing of other students.

Essential Questions

  • Why do writers write? What is the purpose?
  • What makes clear and effective writing?
  • Who is the audience? What will work best for the audience?
  • How do grammar and the conventions of language influence spoken and written communication?


  • Characterization: The method an author uses to reveal characters and their various personalities.
  • Climax: The turning point in a narrative; the moment when the conflict is at its most intense. Typically, the structure of stories, novels, and plays is one of rising action, in which tension builds to the climax.
  • Conflict/Problem: A struggle or clash between opposing characters, forces, or emotions.
  • Exposition: Writing that explains something, often in the beginning of a story.
  • Falling Action: All of the action in a story that follows the turning point or climax. The falling action leads to the resolution or conclusion of the story.
  • Imagery: Language that appeals to any sense or any combination of the senses.
  • Literary Devices: Tools used by the author to enliven and provide voice to the writing (e.g., dialogue, alliteration).
  • Literary Elements: The essential techniques used in literature (e.g., characterization, setting, plot, theme).
  • Plot: The structure of a story. The sequence in which the author arranges events in a story. The structure often includes the exposition, the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the resolution. The plot may have a protagonist who is opposed by an antagonist, creating what is called conflict.
  • Resolution: The portion of a story following the climax, in which the conflict is resolved. The resolution of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is neatly summed up in the following sentence: “Henry and Catherine were married, the bells rang and everybody smiled.”
  • Rising Action: The part of a story where the plot becomes increasingly complicated. Rising action leads up to the climax, or turning point.
  • Setting: The time and place in which a story unfolds.
  • Vague Pronoun: A pronoun that has an unclear antecedent.


100–150 minutes/2–3 class periods

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