Thursday, September 29, 2011

Elements (Parts) of a Story

I found an activity that I thought would be neat to share with you. I believe I created this activity when I was in college, either for my Reading or Language Arts class. The activity combines art and literature, which will help those visual and tactile learners you have.

What you need:
Construction paper
Copy Paper

What you do:
Choose a picture book that your child really enjoys. First read the book with them. To meet the needs of those auditory learners, you can listen to it on CD.

Then, discuss the different parts of a story. There are five main parts of a story to focus on with young learners. You can include more or less, depending on the age of the learner. The five parts we are going to focus on are: characters, plot, setting, theme, and point of view.

The first thing you will need to do is define each part (element) of the story.

Characters: Characters are people or animals in the story.

Plot: Plot is the order of events involving characters in conflict situations

Setting: Setting is where and when a story takes place.

Theme: Theme is the meaning of the story, or the message the story conveys.

Point of View: Point of view tells whose eyes we are looking through when we hear the story.

After you have gone through the story with your child, you will illustrate each of the elements or parts of the story and create a book. For my project in college, I chose the book, Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber. Below are some photographs of my project. I gave the book a cover and back and illustrated the elements of the story on white paper. I also included a title page within the book. I am not really a great artist, but you get the idea. For some of your little budding artists, this might be a project they want to do again and again. To give more emphasis to what they have learned, your children might define the parts of the story in their created book, and then on the following page, demonstrate by writing and illustrating how that part of the story is found in their book.

Note: Some of the websites I have researched to look up more helpful info for you include only characters, plot and setting as the three main parts of a story. My opinion on that is theme and point of view might be a little too abstract for younger minds. You can always modify this to teach younger children. For example, you might create a book that focus on just characters, plot and setting, or just one to focus on characters only.

To learn more about elements, or parts, of a story, or to get more ideas how to teach elements of a story, visit Teacher Vision/Story Elements.

What are some of your favorite picture books you might choose to use for this activity?

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