Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media
Elements of a Fictional Story
I can:

I can identify important parts of a fictional story (characters, setting, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution).

Tech Skills:
  • Drag and Drop

  • Keyboarding

Materials and Resources:
  • Book: any fictional book will work.

  • Fiction Books for small groups of 4

  • Elements of a Plot Pyramid (PowerPoint) (Download a PDF file)

  • Read Write Think activity
    (please note: you must have latest version of Flash for this to work, and the mouse over area to click and drag your labels is the small purple square underneath the label created by the student).

  • Materials to create a Foldable (paper, scissors, markers, pens, pencils)
    OR Post it notes (to write down different elements.)

  • Video: “Five Things” from Flocabulary (spoiler alert: some terms slightly different but good video)

Grade Level:
  • 4th Grade
Subject Area:
  • Language Arts


Typically takes 3 days ... tailor to your schedule/time.


Activity 1

  1. Discuss Fiction Genre. Following are some example questions

  2. What makes a story Fiction vs. Non-Fiction?

    What elements do you expect to find in a Fction story?

    All fictional stories follow same structure

  3. Show Elements of a Plot Pyramid (PowerPoint)

  4. Students create a foldable to take notes on different story elements. (Watch the How to Make a Foldable video.)

  5. Students will use this to take notes while watching Elements of a Plot Pyramid a second time.

  6. Read a familiar story to the students. Students will write down elements in foldable, or use sticky notes, etc.

  7. Plot important parts identified using the online interactive tool Plot Pyramid. DEMO FIRST TO CLASS. Please note the following when using this website.

    There is not an option to save (yet), so students must have enough time to complete their plot pyramid in one session.

    Students can choose between beginning, middle, end OR exposition, rising action, climax, Choose option that reflects where learner is in the process.

    Students type a short event title in the “Event” box provided, but can put a longer description below.

    drag and drop by clicking on the small purple box under the label.

    The location of the climax of the story can be adjusted using the slide at the bottom of the pyramid. This helps students to see that the climax is not always found at the middle of the story and also allows them to add more events in the rising action portion of the pyramid.

    Up to 12 events can be placed on the pyramid.


Activity 2

  1. Review Story Elements with class and show the Five Elements Video.

  2. Each group will create a plot pyramid for their fairy tale using Plot Pyramid. Put students into small groups of about 4 to 5 students. Students will each have a role(assigned by teacher OR within the group can decide who will have what role. Roles can include Reader, recorder, typist. You may want to have students switch roles at time intervals or at specified time during lesson.

  3. Pass out various fairy tales

  4. Students complete their Plot Pyramid

  5. Print when done


Activity 3

  1. Students take turns sharing the plot diagrams completed for homework. Classmates are given the opportunity to ask questions.

Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text

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