Grade Levels: 2-4
- Students will identify elements
of plot in the Geronimo Stilton books.
- Students will understand how plot
elements such as rising action, climax, and resolution
can be successfully used to create a cohesive and engaging
- Students will seek out notable
plot elements for class discussion.
- Students will provide meaningful
reasons for their choices of notable plot elements.
- Students will make up plot elements while composing
their own story.
- Geronimo Stilton books
With fast-paced action and engaging storylines, Geronimo
Stilton books can be easily used in a lesson on plot elements.
Prior to this lesson, assign a Geronimo Stilton book as
independent reading so that students will be prepared to
discuss it in class. You may also wish to read the book
aloud in installments. Be sure they do the following as
they read or follow along with you:
1. Ask students to use sticky notes to mark special places,
such as the following:
- a part that evoked plot-related questions (they can jot
down their questions on the notes)
- a humorous part
- situations they could relate to
- a part they would like to discuss
- a part they didn't like
- a very important or exciting part
- a part with tension or suspense
2. Explain to students that a plot is a structure of events
that make up a story. It describes the action and tells
what happened to whom and why. A story would not be enjoyable
and interesting to read without a good plot. A plot often
has the following elements:
- a beginning, where the characters, setting, and problem
- the rising action, where the characters take steps to solve
the problem in a series of events
- the climax, or a high point where tension is at its peak
and the problem is on the brink of being solved
- the resolution, where the problem is solved
- the falling action, which is a short ending that ties
up the story's loose ends and provides a sense of closure
Help students identify the above elements in the book.
Note that since stories often vary in complexity, not all
of the elements may be found or clearly defined. They may
also appear in a different sequence. After identifying the
elements, ask students to use what they have learned to
complete a Plot
Diagram. Or you can use a Plot
Sheet Conflict List or a Problem
& Solution Diagram instead.
3. Ask students to look back over their sticky notes and
point out parts they want to discuss further in depth. How
and where did the author use tension, surprise, humor, etc.
in exciting ways? Were there plot elements that were disappointing
or poorly developed? If so, where, and how might they be
improved? Have students explain their choices. Then invite
volunteers to bring up plot-related questions they had during
the course of their reading and encourage others to help
1. Ask the class to develop a plot for a simple story about
Geronimo Stilton. Have them decide on a setting, a possible
problem, and suggestions on how Geronimo and his friends
might solve the problem. Analyze the suggestions and narrow
them down by pointing out why some of them might not work.
(Reasons may include a lack of action or tension, an implausible
resolution, etc.) Then choose a suggestion that meets the
standards of a good plot (such as elements of suspense,
situations one can easily relate to, and a well-defined
goal) and narrate how it finally solves the problem.
Teacher Observation: Were students
able to identify plot elements such as the story's rising
action, climax, and resolution? Were they able to provide
good examples of humor, suspense, and significant plot points?
- Were the students successful or
- Did the use of sticky notes help
students identify and discuss plot points they found humorous,
suspenseful, and overall notable?
- Were students able to demonstrate
their understanding of plot components by devising their
own story about Geronimo Stilton?
Have students write a book review about their favorite Geronimo
Stilton book. Ask them to explain why the story's plot was
so interesting and provide details about specific plot elements
to support their viewpoint.