Lesson Plan:

Plot Nachos

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September 3, 2015
by Elizabeth S. Tyree

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify and describe a story's plot, setting, characters, and actions.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Begin the lesson by asking your students to review a book you just read as a class.
  • On the board, write the title of the story.
  • Activate student knowledge by asking your students to identify the components of the story, such as the plot, or the sequence of events in the story.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (25 minutes)

  • Show your students laminated nacho ingredients.
  • Beginning with the "chips", ask students to discuss with you the plot of the story.
  • Write the pieces of plot on the chips and put them on the board.
  • Next, use the "lettuce" in the same manner to describe the setting of the story.
  • Follow with "ground beef" for characters (as they are often the meat of the story), "cheese" for funny actions, "jalapeno slices" for spicy actions, and "tomato dices" for small but memorable items in the story, such as actions, places, and lines.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Have your students list the ingredients in their notebooks. For example, have them write that chips are plot actions.
  • Instruct your students to write down the setting, characters, and plot from the book and draw lines matching these statements to the ingredients.

Independent Working Time (15 minutes)

  • Direct your students to follow the same instructions for a story they have read recently that is different from the one you did together.
  • Remind them what the ingredients mean.
  • Give each student a set of ingredients to use and cut out.
  • Instruct your students to write the corresponding story components on the ingredients.
  • Demonstrate layering the nacho ingredients.



  • Enrichment: Have your students write their own stories using elements from the plot nachos. Have them choose 3 elements from each ingredient and write a short story that is completely different from the story they just plotted out on the nachos.
  • Support: Work as a class (or small group) and only focus on one segment or chapter of the book. Instruct your students to add to it after they understand the assignment and show comprehension of the story line.

Technology Integration

  • Using tablets or laptops, record your students reading or performing segments of the story, along with explanations about what element of the story they are portraying.


Assessment (10 minutes)

  • Walk around the classroom, stopping to check with each student.
  • Grade their nachos, making sure that they have not missed any major points.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Explain to your students that the layers of food in a plate of nachos create a full and interesting flavor to be enjoyed.
  • Remind them that stories are the same way, so when they layer plot, characters, actions, and setting, the flavors meld together and create a book or story that people can enjoy consuming.
  • Ask students to think of their favorite stories, books, or shows. Ask them to imagine that entertainment as a big plate of nachos, just like they created in class today.

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