August 27, 2015
by Linda F. Mcrue

Lesson plan

Craft Stick Story Elements

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Learn Story Elements pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Learn Story Elements pre-lesson.

Students will be able to describe story elements found in a text orally with a small group and in writing.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that the lesson focus will be on certain story elements that will help them understand what happened in a story and why.
  • Read the story Leo the Late Bloomer
(15 minutes)
  • On the craft sticks write one story element: retell, author's purpose, character traits, sequence, or main idea. Make 4-5 sets of the sticks.
  • Author's purpose helps the students understand why the author wrote the story: to entertain, give information, or persuade us.
  • Character traits allow the students to understand and interpret characters' feelings.
  • Sequence helps us understand the order of what happened in the story.
  • Main idea explains what the story is all about.
  • Choose a stick from the bag and read it to the students.
  • On the chart paper, write something about Leo the Late Bloomer that's related to the term on the stick.
  • Let the students read what you have written.
  • Choose another stick and let the students help you write something for it.
  • Continue until all the sticks have been used.
(20 minutes)
  • Place the students in groups. Let them select captains for their groups. Review the rules for collaborative group conversations by creating a poster titled "Group Work."
    1. Listen to others carefully
    2. Speak one at a time
    3. Talk about the text or topic
  • Have students give a thumbs up if they can agree to follow these rules for group discussions.
  • Give each group a resealable bag that contains story element sticks and a tape recorder (with a cassette tape already enclosed).
  • Have the captains each choose a group member to pull a craft stick from the bag.
  • The member should read it to the group. Have groups discuss how the element relates to Leo the Late Bloomer.
  • When a group has a consensus, instead of writing the answer, they should record their answer on the cassette.
  • Have students continue until all the story element sticks have been used.
(15 minutes)
  • Let the students each choose a story element craft stick, read it, and return to their seats. Have them write in their journals the answer for the story element about the text.
  • Tell them to think about the answer from their group time and write it down. Remind them to stay on topic with their answer.


  • Advanced students can choose a story they have previously read. They can choose a craft stick with the story elements and work independently to write their answers for the sticks on lined paper. Have them choose at least 3 sticks.


  • Work with struggling students in small groups. Together, come up with suitable responses. Write them down and let the students copy them.
(10 minutes)
  • Let the students read what they wrote in their journals to a partner sitting next to their left elbow. Remind them of the rules for group conversations.
  • Tell students to stay on the topic of their story element and how they chose their answer.
  • Circulate and listen to their discussions. Offer suggestions where needed.
(5 minutes)
  • Review the key terms and relate them to Leo the Late Bloomer.

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