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Dedicated to Teachers

Writers ARE Readers: Plot Opportunities


In Writers ARE Readers, the mutually supportive roles of reading and writing are made visible through the idea of "flipsides," or how a reader's insights can be turned around to provide insights into his own writing, and vice versa. With Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth's trademark engaging style, Writers ARE Readers is full of sample lessons, student writing samples, and recommended texts to maximize the flipped concept across the year.

When you sit down to write, it makes sense that you would think of how another writer has affected you with her work. You would draw from that experience of another's writing when you attempt to make something of your own. In today's video, the authors explain further:


Life unfolds like a story. Everything moves along and seems to be unfolding like a plan when an unexpected twist presents us with drama, a dilemma, or a challenge and pushes us to make decisions that impact our actions. There is change as you work to solve the problems.

Life is story, and story must have a plot.

Plot in many ways is the plan (the road map) the story will follow from beginning through the middle to a logical conclusion at the end. The typical plot structure includes exposition, rising action, falling action, and denouement. The exposition opens the story with description and explanation, giving the reader a sense of the people and place. In short, the exposition sets the stage. The rising action sets the story in motion with a series of events where the main character’s conflict or obstacle becomes clear and something must be done to resolve it. The falling action brings us down from the drama of meeting the conflict and working toward some closure. The denouement, the bow on a package, wraps things up nicely, bringing a sense of resolution or closure.

Coming to understand how story is put together helps us as readers to recognize how characters and settings and plot interact. When those concepts become part of our background knowledge and schema, we open a story with a sense of the familiar, a sense of expectation that makes for more efficient and engaged reading.

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Flip It From Reading To Writing

For writers, the plot is the road map and the headlights to navigate through the story. The seed idea for a story may begin with an event or a character, but the writer will have to devise a plot to move the story along without meandering aimlessly and placing our readers in a state of utter confusion. Plans for the plot may evolve and change over time as the writer generates a draft and rewrites and revises.

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Reba and Lester sat down to talk about their newest book. Watch the videos below!


Writers ARE Readers: Flipping Reading Instruction Into Writing Opportunities is available now.

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Lester Laminack is Professor Emeritus of literacy education at Western Carolina University. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including The Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide, Bullying Hurts, and Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum.

Reba M. Wadsworth currently serves as a consultant for school systems across the United States, where she conducts reading and writing workshops. She is coauthor of Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum, Bullying Hurts, and The Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide.

Topics: Video, Reading, Writers Are Readers, Writing, Language Arts, Lester Laminack, Reba Wadsworth

Date Published: 01/06/16

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