Today, I figured, well, might as well just review the concepts and see what we all remember and work at trying to work through the worksheet. Well, we got through the theory review ... and just by looking at them I could tell that there was no way that we were going to be getting through the reading / analyzing part today, and they really needed a practice run that wasn't too taxing .. I dug through my desk drawer of DVDs and pulled out Futurama, handed out plot structure worksheets and we analyzed an episode of Futurama.
And ya know what? They got it! I did have to throw in several leading questions, and pausing the episode several times and point out that this was part of rising action and then asking what was going on. But it worked - my students understood what was going on. I think I'll be doing this a couple more times before we start our larger novel study and get them to analyze episodes for different things (characters, setting, plot). But whoo-da-thunk that Fry, Bender, Leela and Prof. Farnsworth could teach my students plot.