Lesson: Plot Structure: Elements of a Story

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to list the five elements of story using an acronym.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Yesterday we envisioned by making a movie in our minds and we became one of the characters in our fiction books.  Today, we will identify the five elements of a story; setting, characters, problem, resolution, and solution by using a reading strategy acronym.

Teach (5-10 mins):
Students are seated on the carpet with a partner.  Students will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  When we read it is important to think about the five elements of a story in order to help us understand what we are reading.  Teacher reveals class chart with STORY acronym.

    -Setting-  Where the story is taking place
    -Talking Character- characters in the story
    -Oops a Problem!- problem in the story (something went wrong)
    -Attempts to Resolve the problem- the characters trying to solve the problem
    -Yes! The problem is solved- how the problem was solved in the story

Model (5-10 mins):
Teacher reads aloud story.  I use The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi.  I read aloud the first half of the book to model my thinking.  I noticed the story takes place on a bus and at school so far.  I will add that to our STORY chart.  I also noticed that the characters that talked in the story so far are only Unhei, I will add her to the chart as well.  So far I think the problem in the story is that Unhei is being picked on during her ride to school and she doesn’t want to tell people her name.  We haven’t finished the book yet so I can’t add the O or Y to our story acronym yet.  Let’s keep reading.
    S- on a bus, in a classroom
    T- Unhei
    O- Rama’s one shoe is missing

Teacher reads aloud the rest of the story.  Now that we have finished the story we can go back and add to our R and Y in the STORY chart.  Turn and tell a partner what we should add to the resolution part of our chart.  Have a student share out response and add to chart.  You all had great answers.  Now turn and tell a partner the solution to Unhei’s problem in this story.  Teacher takes student responses and adds to class chart.

Active Engagement (15 mins):
Now that you have practiced identifying our STORY elements I want to give you a turn to read your own “just right” books and complete a story chart.  Students return to their seats to read independently.

Exit Slip (3-5 mins): During independent reading time, students should be filling in the elements of their story in a graphic organizer.  This organizer will be collected to determine which students need more practice with the skill.

Reflection: The acronym, STORY used in this lesson is helpful in reminding students or the elements of plot.  I have found that even later in the unit or year students will return to the acronym for help with story elements.  I create a poster to hang in the classroom with this acronym that remains up all year long as a reminder.  It is also important to make sure students are reading fiction books at this point in the unit.  Often students will have books at their desks that are a variety of genres.  It then becomes difficult for students to complete the exit slip if the story does not have a clear plot or is a different genre.

Lesson Resources

Story Elements Graphic Organizer   Activity


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