Plot Elements

Conflict, Climax & Conclusion



This song teaches students how to identify the plot elements of a story, including the introduction, rising action, climax, falling action and conclusion.



A plot’s not anything but a sequence of events. And every story has a plot, because a story without a plot is like a fish out of water! Or like pancakes without syrup. Or like a shoe without some laces! You wouldn’t wear a shoe without laces, would you? Would you?

You got a story to tell? You better have a plot!
If it doesn't, am I listening? Um, no I’m not…
First introduce the conflict and characters,
Then the action rises, it may get scarier.
The climax is when things go nuts,
The action falls away, then we wrap it up.
Yup, yup — that’s the conclusion,
Make your plot hot and you're never losing.


Let’s take a second now to focus on plot,
You wanna learn to tell a cool story or not?
The beginning of the story is the introduction,
We get to meet the characters, find out something
About the main conflict, or main problems,
We’re dying to know how the characters will solve them.
The conflict unravels in three phases:
Rising action is the first stage, it’s
The middle of the story where you build suspense,
Whatever the problem is, it gets intense,
Until the turning point hits, that’s called the climax,
The character changes, accepts new facts,
And may have to make a choice based on what happened,
The tension decreases, that’s the falling action.
With the conflict resolved, you can wrap up loose ends,
In the last section that we call the conclusion
.

You got a story to tell? You better have a plot!
If it doesn't, am I listening? Um, no I’m not…
First introduce the conflict and characters,
Then the action rises, it may get scarier.
The climax is when things go nuts,
The action falls away, then we wrap it up.
Yup, yup — that’s the conclusion,
Make your plot hot and you're never losing.


Let’s break down the plot of a story called “The Date,”
With two characters who are not the same.
In the introduction Joe says he's not popular,
That’s an important fact about his character.
The conflict? He wants to date a popular girl,
Her name is Lisa and she’s out of this world.
She only dates jocks but he still makes the offer,
When he asks Lisa out on a date to Red Lobster.
She says yes and the plot thickens,
The rising action adds a little tension.
But then Joe is grossed out by the way she chews,
It’s the climax, that information is new.
It’s a turning point for Joe and things change after,
Their relationship ending is the falling action.
So the resolution to this conflict
Or conclusion is: Joe and Lisa didn't stick.

You got a story to tell? You better have a plot!
If it doesn't, am I listening? Um, no I’m not…
First introduce the conflict and characters,
Then the action rises, it may get scarier.
The climax is when things go nuts,
The action falls away, then we wrap it up.
Yup, yup — that’s the conclusion,
Make your plot hot and you're never losing.



The very beginning of a story is the introduction . We learn about the characters, setting and any important background information. Often, we are introduced to the main conflict or main problem . This part of the story is also called the exposition .

Every story has some kind of conflict . (Without it, you have no plot!) This is a struggle or problem that characters must face. The conflict usually takes place during all three phases: rising action, climax and falling action . It's the conflict that adds suspense and excitement to a story. And we learn more about a character's beliefs and personality by watching how they deal with the main conflict or problem.

There are 4 main types of conflict. (Many stories will have more than one type of conflict.)

1. Character vs. character : It's the most common type of conflict in a story. This is any kind of struggle between two or more people. Often it's “good guy” vs. “bad guy,” but not always. It's also called “man vs. man,” but doesn't only mean men. This type of conflict includes women too.

2. Character vs. nature : This is when a character must overcome some natural obstacle or condition. Floods, hurricanes, insects and animals may represent conflicts with nature. It's also called “man vs. nature.”

3. Character vs. society : A struggle against society occurs when a character is at odds with a particular social force or condition produced by society, such as poverty, political revolution, a social convention or set of values. Also called “man vs. society.”

4. Characters vs. themselves : Within a character, parts of his or her personality may struggle for dominance. This conflict is usually about making a choice. The choice could be emotional, intellectual or moral.

Rising Action : This is the middle of the story. The main character(s) face problems and solutions. There's a building of interest or suspense... What's going to happen next?

Climax : This is the turning point of the story. Usually the main character faces an ultimate challenge or conflict and changes in some way.

Falling action : This occurs towards the end of the story. Tension decreases and everything begins to settle down.

Conclusion : This is how the story ends. The conflict has been resolved or ended, and loose ends of the story are wrapped up. It's also called “denouement.” The classic fairy tale conclusion ends with, “and they all lived happily ever after.”

This story comes from our vocabulary song, "The Date,".which reviews 6th grade vocabulary words like "cultivate," "idiom" and "verdict." Watch now!
Which plot element introduces us to the characters and their problems?
Introduction
Which plot element is the major turning point?
Climax
Where does Joe take Lisa on their date?
Red Lobster
Which plot element builds the suspense?
Rising Action
What does Lisa do on the date that grosses Joe out?
Chews with her mouth open
Which plot element wraps up all the loose ends?
Conclusion
Which plot element comes right after the climax and before the conclusion?
Falling action

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