Maroo of the Winter Caves: Elements of Fiction (cont.)

Print Lesson


Demonstrate understanding of the elements of fiction and apply this knowledge to a novel.

Big Idea

Style, theme, mood – how do these and other elements of fiction appear in Maroo of the Winter Caves?


15 minutes

To remind students of the work completed previously on the elements of fiction, today’s class begins with a quick quiz Students match eight terms with their correct definitions and list as many of the remaining 5 that they can remember. This activity gives me valuable information regarding their level of knowledge with this topic and their readiness to apply that knowledge to the novel we are reading.

Apply What You Know

25 minutes

During this phase of the lesson, students work with a partner or small group to apply the elements of fiction to the novel Maroo of the Winter Caves using this worksheet. They must refer to the definitions in order to stay on track and correctly identify the elements.

As I circulate among the groups, I ask for text evidence and I am pleased at their readiness to provide it and to explain their thinking, but there are some trouble spots. Dialogue, mood and style are the trickiest to complete, so we work on these together. We come to the conclusion that the author uses dialogue to reveal information about each character’s personality traits and their relationships with one another. We determine that the mood of the story changes over time from being adventuresome to desperate as the family’s circumstances undergo dramatic changes and the writer does this in a style that includes a great deal of imagery and descriptive language that pulls the reader into action. A example of a completed worksheet for the elements of fiction for Maroo of the Winter Caves appears here and some thoughts on teaching this lesson appear here:



Wrap Up

20 minutes

Students create flash cards with the definitions of the elements of fiction to study for an upcoming quiz. They can use index cards or a flashcard website or app to complete the task. Some suggestions include:



App Advice on Best Flashcard Apps

App Advice is my favorite because of it offers information and the pros and cons of a number of services. I suggest that students check out a few of these, choose a favorite and then use it throughout the year for all content area subjects. That way everything is in one place.