Grade: Elementary
Subject: Literature

#1737. Elements of a story

Literature, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Apr 27 07:54:23 PDT 2000 by Jessica (

IUP, Indiana, PA 15701
Activity Time: 45 minutes


TOPIC: The Elements of a story




I feel that a student needs to learn the elements of a story in order to understand and know what is
happening throughout the story. If a child knows who the character(s) are then they will be able to
pick up on their characteristics throughout the story. If the child knows the setting of the story then
they will always know where an event is taking place. If they know the problems that are occuring
then they will be able to get into the story and have the feeling that they are helping to solve it. This
will help students become more involved in their reading and make it seem like they are a part of
the story.


Following the lesson on the elements of the story, grade three students will be able to identify, list,
recite, recognize, and verbally explain each of the elements of a story with 100% accuracy.

The learners will be able to:

1. identify the five elements of a story directly from text.
2. list the five elements
3. recite them allowed when asked
4. differentiate between them all
5. verbally explain what the characteristics of each and why we use them.


(In this lesson plan their are links to the internet to help further explain the elements to the students.
They can be found underlined and in a different color than the rest of the text. The color it can be
found in is black.)

Before class begins, put all desks in a giant circle. You may wait and have the students put the
desks into a circle, although this takes up class time. After you have taken attendance and finished
initial bits of business, instruct the students to take out a sheet of paper and a pen. Everything else
needs to be off their desks.

The first activity we would do is to read the story, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice
Sendak. I would start out by introducing the book to the children. I would read the author and
title, show the cover and first few pages of the book. I would then ask the children what they think
the story might be about. I would then read the book to the class. After we are finished reading
the book I will ask the class if it was a "good story," an "interesting story," a "well-written story." I
would then explain that we will now look at the elements or parts of what makes up a good story.
We would then take Several large sheets of paper each labeled: Characters, Setting, Problem,
Events, Solution. I would start with the large sheet of paper with the word "SETTING" on it. I
would explain to the class that he setting is where and when the story takes place. I would then
ask the students to tell the setting of the book. For each response I would have them refer back to
the book by saying "how does it tell us that?" and help the students remember a passage or a
phrase. Write down what the students give you for the setting. Repeat the process for

I would then split the class into groups of three. In their groups they would have to complete the
following worksheet. After they complete the worksheet and write their name on it, they arer to
turn it in for a grade. The point of hte worksheet is to see if they understand what the elements of
a story are and where to find them within a story.


1. ______________________

2. _____________ _____________

3. __________ __________ ___________

4. _________ _________ _________ _________

5. ________ ________ ________ ________ ________

6. _______ _______ _______ ________ ________ ________

7. _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______

8. ______ _______ _______ _______ _______ ______ ______ ______

On the above lines write the following:

1- the name of the main character

2- two words describing the main character

3- three words describing the setting

4- four words stating the story problem

5- five words describing the first event in the story

6- six words describing a second event

7- seven words describing a third event

8- eight words describing the solution to the problem

The class will be instructed to return to their seats for the final activity. As a class, they are going
to create a fictional story, teacher included. Each person is going to begin a story by writing only
one complete sentence. (For instance: Once upon a time on a very dark and stormy night, all the
lights blew out in Peter's house.) Wait until each student has completed his/her sentence then the
teacher will say, "Everyone pass your paper to the right." The person to the right of you will read
the sentence before them and proceed to write the next sentence. Continue passing the papers to
the right, having them add only one new sentence each time they receive a paper. The more
sentences in the story, the longer writing time is needed. Continue this process until each person
receives her/his initial paper with her/his beginning sentence.

Once each person has received his/her initial paper, s/he should read the story and write one
concluding sentence. Each person will then read his/her story aloud to the class.

Notes: Before you begin this exercise you may want to guide your students with one rule: no sex,
violence or profanity is allowed. Students generally follow a plot line once they have learned how
to do so. It is very helpful if you participate in order to keep the story lines going.

This is a very fun exercise for everyone involved. Students have the opportunity to let their
creativity flow, to show their understanding of story elements, and to learn how work together.
The teacher can watch students as they construct sentences and see if they are following the main