Lessons & Units :: Bridge to Terabithia 5th Grade Unit

Genre Lesson: Realistic Fiction

Lesson Plan

Bridge to Terabithia | 810L

Bridge to Terabithia
Learning Goal
Identify the realistic elements of realistic fiction by making personal connections.
Approximately 1 Day (30 minutes); Independent Practice-Ongoing
Necessary Materials
Provided: Is This For Real? Handout, Realistic Elements Worksheets (Student Packet, pages 2-3)
Not Provided: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Activation & Motivation

    Ask students, “What is your favorite TV show or your favorite movie?” Record their answers on chart paper. Next, ask students if any of the television shows or movies have impossible elements, such as magic, or talking creatures. If so, cross out those shows or movies on the list that you created. Ask students to think about how they connect with or identify with the remaining shows or movies. "Which characters do you relate to? What parts seem real or close to your life and experiences?Encourage students to think about how or why they identify with these elements in the shows and movies.

  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that many of the shows and movies we mentioned contained elements that made them seem real. We connect with the characters, setting, or story. Although these elements may not be my reality or your reality, they are realistic enough for a viewer to believe they could be true. I will explain that realistic stories are similar to realistic shows or movies. The term “Realistic Fiction” identifies a fictional story that has realistic elements. Although the story may not be true because it is fiction and created out of the author’s mind, it contains real life elements in the setting, characters, or plot. I will explain that in order to label a story as “Realistic Fiction,” the story must have characters, settings, and a plot that is real enough for someone to relate to or understand. The story must be possible. Although the reader of the realistic fiction story may not lead the same kind of life as the characters in the story, the reader will be able to relate to the feelings, actions, and motivations of the characters presented in the story.

    I will hand out the Is This For Real? Handout. I will read aloud the first scenario to look for realistic elements in the setting, characters, and plot. I will underline the realistic elements.

    Next, I will make a personal connection to these elements. I can make a personal connection by thinking about my personal experiences, opinions, or knowledge. I will explain that there is no right or wrong personal connection. A personal connection shows that you can relate to or sympathize with elements in the story. My personal connection to the first scenario is that I shared a room with my sister growing up, and we always laughed before bed. I can connect with this scenario because it sounds like something we would have done. I will mark this scenario with an “R” for realistic.

  • Think Check

    Ask, "How do I know that I am reading a realistic fiction story?" Students should respond that a work of realistic fiction contains a plot, characters, and settings that are real or realistic enough to be part of everyday life. In a realistic fiction story, the reader can make a personal connection to the characters, setting, or plot.

  • Guided Practice

    will read the rest of the scenarios in our Is This For Real? Handout. For each scenario, we will underline the elements that make the scenario realistic or within the realm of possibility. We will mark each realistic scenario with an “R”. If the passage seems unreal, we will mark it with “NR” for not real.

    We will make personal connections to the realistic elements in each of the remaining realistic fiction scenarios. We will discuss the personal connections we made to each character, setting, or plot and record them under the “My Personal Connection” column on our Is This For Real? Handout.

  • Independent Practice

    will record real life elements as you read on the Realistic Elements Worksheets. (See pages 2-3 in the Student Packet.) You will look for realistic elements in characters, settings, and the plot and record them on the Realistic Elements Worksheets. You will cite the page number in the text where you found each realistic element. For example, if you find a realistic element about the setting, you will write down the element that could be real and you will record the page number of the element.

    Next, you will make a personal connection to the elements you have identified as real. On your Realistic Elements Worksheets, you will see a column marked “My Personal Connection.” In this column, you will write a personal connection you can make with the realistic element. 

    Your Realistic Elements Worksheets will be a working companion as you read. It will come in handy as you build upon your comprehension of your Realistic Fiction book.

  • Reflective Practice

    will come together before Lesson 1 to share the realistic elements we found in the first three chapters of the book. We will share the personal connections we have made to the various realistic elements we’ve identified. Note: Students can continue to make personal connections throughout the book; it’s unnecessary to have students track the realistic elements of the story beyond the first reading assignment, as this learning outcome should be met by the time students have finished with their first reading assignment.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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User Comments

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Excellent practice and examples