Plot Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:05 What Is Plot?
  • 0:42 Beginning
  • 1:16 Rising Action
  • 1:47 Climax
  • 2:11 Falling Action & Resolution
  • 2:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lindsy Frazer

Dr. Frazer has taught several college level Science courses and has a master's degree in Human Biology and a PhD in Library and Information Science.

Are you a fan of roller coasters? I bet you didn't know that roller coasters and stories have a lot in common. Read this lesson to find out what plot is and how plot is like a roller coaster, and learn about the five parts of a plot.

What Is Plot?

Imagine yourself strapped into a seat on the world's tallest roller coaster. Your car slowly climbs up to the top of the ride's largest peak, then down you go! Did you scream?

The series of events that make up a story, called a plot, are a lot like a roller coaster ride: smaller events lead up to a big dramatic event, then the story coasts to an ending.

Every story has a plot, whether it's a novel like James and the Giant Peach or your favorite TV show, and all plots have a common structure. A plot structure is made up of five main parts that happen in the same order: beginning, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

Beginning

Where should a story start? At the beginning, of course! This first part of a plot is all about how things are before the action starts. In the beginning of a story we learn about the story's characters and setting, or where it takes place. This beginning part of a story that introduces information about a story's characters and setting, as well as when it takes place, is called exposition.

Let's see how this works in the tale of the three little pigs:

Three little pigs build houses in the woods. The first pig built his house out of sticks. The second pig built his house of straw. The third pig built his house out of bricks.

Rising Action

When you hear a ghost story, how do you usually know a spirit is about to appear? Lots of little mysterious events take place. The main character hears a strange noise, the lights go out, the floorboards creak. These spooky happenings are the rising action of a ghost story.

Rising action, the second part of a story's plot, is what we call all of the little events and actions that lead up to the main event of a story.

A big, bad wolf comes along and blows down the pigs' houses made of straw and sticks. He tries to blow down the house made of bricks, but it's too strong.

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