Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Plot Profile: Math in the English/Language Arts Classroom

Using the Plot Profile allows the ELA Educator to incorporate Math into the ELA classroom.


I am constantly searching for ways to strategically incorporate other content areas into my English/Language Arts classroom.  I strive to expose my students to as much as possible.  Last year, I developed a complete thematic unit around the math-based novel, The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine.  I'll share more in the coming weeks. Specifically, I'll provide details about the Common Core Manuals that we created.

One day while in Barnes and Noble, I discovered a wonderful reading strategy entitled the Plot Profile.  With this strategy, students plot their assessment of each chapter based on the tension and conflict.  I love this strategy because students review key math vocabulary such as X-Axis, Y-Axis, Quadrant I, Quadrant IV, Positive Numbers, and Negative Numbers to name a few.

The X-Axis (horizontal line) represents the chapters.  The X-Axis is always positive because we cannot read negative chapters (-Chapter 7, anyone?).

The Y-Axis (vertical line) represents the tension/conflict within each chapter.  I like to use a range of -5 to +5.  Using a specific range instead of low to high forces the students to be more precise.

After we read a chapter from our class novel, my students have to write objective summaries as well as complete their Plot Profile.  This strategy has been conducive to dynamic conversations and debates.  It also helps to clarify where we are within the Elements of Plot.

In the following video, I explain the Plot Profile at the NCCTM Eastern Regional Conference in Wilmington.