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

Lesson 2: Identifying Plot Conflicts

Lesson Plan

Bridge to Terabithia | 810L

Bridge to Terabithia
Learning Goal
Identify two plot conflicts in the text (Character vs. Character and Character vs. Self).
Approximately 2 Days (45-50 minutes for each class)
Necessary Materials
Provided: Role-Play Scenario Worksheet, Types of Plot Conflicts Handout, Plot Conflicts Chart 1, Plot Conflicts Chart 2 (Save for use with Lesson 5), Plot Conflicts Worksheet (Student Packet, pages 12-13)
Not Provided: Chart paper, markers, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson; For Lesson 3, have students bring in a photo of a friend or family members or a photo of a relationship cut-out from a magazine
  • Before the Lesson

    Read Chapters 4-6; Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapters 4-6

  • Activation & Motivation

    Ask for two student volunteers to read and act out the scenario on the Role-Play Scenario Worksheet. As the rest of the class watches and listens to the role-playing scene, have students think about the types of conflicts, arguments, or disagreements taking place in the scene. Ask "Do you see any conflicts or problems in the scene? Can you identify more than one type of conflict going on?"

  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that just like we saw in the role-play scenario, conflicts exist in works of realistic fiction. I will explain that there are four types of plot conflicts: Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Nature, and Character vs. Society. I will hand out the Types of Plot Conflicts Handout to become familiar with plot conflicts. I will use this handout to identify the types of plot conflicts that were displayed in the classroom scene. I will read aloud the description of each plot conflict. As I read, I will try to identify which plot conflict or conflicts were shown in our scenario. I will figure out the plot conflicts in the role-play scenario by looking at the Types of Plot Conflicts Handout to identify which conflicts were shown in the scenario. For each conflict, I will answer the following questions: Who is the conflict between? What is the cause of the conflict? Describe the tension in the conflict.

    The first conflict I come across in the scenario is between two people, Mark and Juan. That answers the first question about who the conflict is between. Next, I will figure out what is the cause of the conflict. The friends are arguing over a trading card. Finally, I will describe the tension: Juan is accusing Mark of being jealous. By recalling the Types of Plot Conflicts, I see that this plot conflict shows Character vs. Character because it is between two people. I will write this down on Plot Conflicts Chart 1. Note: See Plot Conflicts Chart 1 for specific examples.

    As I continue to review the scenario, I see that there is another plot conflict. Who is this conflict between? I see that Juan kicks a stone in anger. He’s upset with himself because he argued with his best friend. He’s trying to figure out how to make it better. This conflict is an internal one; it’s happening inside of Juan’s head. I can say that this is a Character vs. Self plot conflict. I will write this down on Plot Conflicts Chart 1. I will explain that plot conflicts can also help us predict what’s to come next in the story. I will predict that Juan apologizes to Mark and the two friends are happy again. I will read the remaining part of the story aloud to see if my prediction was correct.

    I will explain that although more than one plot conflict—or all four types of plot conflicts—can exist in any story, I will be focusing on Character vs. Character and Character vs. Self for the Realistic Fiction Genre and Bridge to Terabithia.

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How can I identify a plot conflict in a text and the type of plot conflict that is presented?" Students should respond that you should review conflicts in a text and figure out details about the conflict, such as who is involved in the conflict and what the conflict is about, to decide what type of conflict is presented in the story.

  • Guided Practice

    will read aloud Chapter 4 of Bridge to Terabithia. As we read, we will pause when we come across a Character vs. Character or a Character vs. Self plot conflict. When we come across a plot conflict, we will answer the following questions on Plot Conflicts Chart 2: Who is the conflict between? What is the cause of the conflict? Describe the tension in the conflict. Note: See Plot Conflicts Chart 2 for specific examples. Plot Conflicts could include: Jess getting upset at himself because Leslie wins the races at recess (Character vs. Self); Jess avoiding Leslie because it reminds him of his own shame and her inability to not fit in at school (Character vs. Self); Janice picking on Jess on the bus (Character vs. Character). Save this chart for use with Lesson 5.

  • Independent Practice

    will work with a partner to identify plot conflicts in Chapters 5 and 6. Each pair will create a Conflict Card by recording one conflict in these chapters along with the page number where it was found on an index card. On the back of each card, you will answer the questions surrounding this plot conflict: Who is the conflict between? What is the cause of the conflict? Describe the tension in the conflict. Next, you will record the plot conflicts you’ve identified on your Plot Conflicts Worksheet in your Student Packet. (See pages 12-13 in the Student Packet.)

  • Reflective Practice

     will come together to discuss the plot conflicts we have identified. Each pair will take a turn sharing a different plot conflict with the rest of the class. Each pair will tell the class who the plot conflict is between and the details surrounding the plot conflict. Based on the information the class is given, the class will decide what kind of plot conflict the pair is presenting, either Character vs. Character or Character vs. Self. As a class, we will make a prediction for each plot conflict. Ask: "What can we predict about the story by looking at the details of this plot conflict and the characters involved?" Encourage students to support their opinion with details from the text.

Build Student Vocabulary consolation

Tier 2 Word: consolation
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story “Jess knew now that he would never be the best runner of the fourth and fifth grades, and his only consolation was that neither would Gary Fulcher.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) A consolation is comfort in the time of loss or suffering. When Jess thought that his only consolation was that Gary Fulcher would not be the best runner, he meant that, even though he was upset that he lost the race, it was comforting that he did not lose to Gary.
Students repeat the word Say the word consolation with me: consolation.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts He consoled her after her grandmother had died. I do not want this consolation prize, I want the 1st place trophy. The team lost their baseball game and could not be consoled.
Students provide examples What is a consolation to you when you need comfort? Start by saying, “My consolation is____________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? consolation
Additional Vocabulary Words contempt, insufficiencies, revenge, reckon, speculation

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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User Comments

I find these lessons to be etremely beneficial for my class.