The Story Mountain is a plot planning device.
It can be broken up into five parts:
Kickoff, Ascend, Peak, Descend and Completion.
This tool helps children understand a good story structure.
The Kickoff is when the writer might introduce elements like important characters, setting and tone.
The Ascend brings in a foreshadowing of things to come and builds up tension as the reader climbs.
The Peak is where the proverbial poo hits the fan – the climax of the story.
The Descend is the “cleaning up” process, where the tension begins to fall.
The Completion is the happily ever after. (Or maybe not)
Just as with climbing a mountain (or hills in the Singapore context), there is some initial leisurely pace and then it gets tough and tougher, which is the most exhilarating part of it all till the top of the mountain is reached. That is the peak of our emotions and tension. Thereafter, the descend is usually quite easy going, relaxing and as expected (but not necessarily so).
The Story Mountain then leads to other questions like “How do I write the Beginning/Conflict/Climax/Deflation/Resolution?” and “What makes the Conflict different from the Climax?” The teacher must know how to explicitly distinguish each part from the others, and apply specific writing techniques to each part of the mountain.