Broken FRAY-tag

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Putting the pieces together, Lori

Me and Fray presenting reading/writing
strategies to our friends in Beaumont, Tx.
It's no secret to you that I'm a nerd. We've had this conversation. Because of my nerdery, I enjoy surrounding myself with other like-minded nerds. I'm lucky enough to work with one of my favorite nerds and you can hang with her too! Check out Sarah Frazier @theconferenceperiod on Instagram. Sarah...known to me as doing lots of cool work this year with flexible seating, LEP students, all things Google, and even a partnership between our middle school and another high school in the district. 

Today is all about Fray and all about fiction. Let's take a peek at some Texas state standards, shall we? Again...nerdery. Because I'm a secondary person, I'm going to look at some fiction TEKS from grades 7-9. 

  • 7.6A analyze the development of the plot through the internal and external responses of the characters, including their motivations and conflicts
  • 8.6A analyze linear plot developments (e.g., conflict, rising action, falling  action, resolution, subplots) to determine whether and how  conflicts are resolved 
  • E1.5(A)  analyze non‐linear plot development (e.g., flashbacks, foreshadowing, sub‐ plots, parallel plot structures) and compare it to linear plot development 
Fray. I promise she really does have hands.
Each of these standards requires a basic understanding of linear plot development, but when you look at the way the items are tested, students are really required to justify their thinking and make some pretty complex inferences. I've outlined some of these questions in an earlier post that you can read here

The Broken Fray-tag (isn't the name clever?), designed by Sarah Frazier @theconferenceperiod, helps students move beyond identifying elements of plot and requires them to move toward inferences and application of academic vocabulary. 

Broken Fray-tag using Tangerine. Read on and
download your own copy for FREE.

Here's how you do it:
  • Start by taking a short fiction text. I used a super intense excerpt from the novel Tangerine by Edward Bloor. 
  • Break the text into parts following the traditional Freytag model. Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action (or if you're fancy...denoument), and Resolution. 
  • Label each chunk with letters A-E. Students receive and read all of the pieces. 
  • Then, they organize the pieces in a way that follows the linear plot diagram. 
Here's the thing...we care less about them getting the answer right and more about the conversation surrounding their choices. 

Because of the conversations your kids will have, this is a great tutoring activity or a solid activity for regular instruction to review a difficult fiction text before an assessment. And quite honestly, if you can harness those conversations, then you can likely hit more than just the standards I listed above. 

If you want to try the Broken Fray-tag, you can get your own copy FREE copy here

We'd love to see pics of you and your kids rocking the Broken Fray-tag on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. 

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