EL Support Lesson

Elements of Fairy Tales

Use this lesson to help students identify the elements of a fictional text while gaining more knowledge about parts of speech. Use as a stand alone activity or a support lesson for Fairy Tales: Identifying Story Elements.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Fairy Tales: Identifying Story Elements lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Fairy Tales: Identifying Story Elements lesson plan.

The students will be able to identify elements of a fictional text.


The students will be able to identify elements of a fictional text with verbs using concept maps and paragraph frames for support.

(4 minutes)
  • Begin two concept maps on the board by drawing two ovals and writing the words "fairy tale" in the first, and "verb" in the second.
  • Say, "Before the lesson today, we will share what we already know about fairy tales by writing a few words, a sentence, or drawing an image that connects to fairy tales. We will do the same for the word verb. After the lesson, we will write down the new things we learned around our concept maps! The purpose of a concept map is to show, in a visual way, what we know about a topic. We can also share what we learned about a topic using a concept map."
  • Give the students a few minutes to share their ideas and record them on the whiteboard.
(10 minutes)
  • Split the students into small groups. Briefly discuss the meaning of a verb, referring to the concept map for support. Reiterate that a verb is an action.
  • Pass out the Vocabulary Cards worksheet and ask the students if they can figure out what the words have in common. Provide sufficient wait time, and then allow students to do a brief think-pair-share with a neighbor in their small group.
  • Explain to students that all the vocabulary words are verbs. Briefly define verbs and explain that verbs are words or phrases that describe the experiences that we have in life. Explain that verbs can also be actions or processes that people do. Encourage a few students to give examples of verbs that are familiar to them and write their ideas on the board.
  • Ask students to separate the words into piles of action verbs and saying verbs. Provide the following example: "An action verb is something you do. For example, we can jump, run, or give a toy to someone. A saying verb is something we say. For example, we can use our voice to shout, thank, or congratulate someone on a job well done." Give the students a few minutes to finish the sort and discuss their findings.
  • Write the following elements of a fairy tale on the board: character, setting, problem, solution. Encourage students to offer their definitions of each of the words orally. Model a think-aloud by saying, "Hmm...so these words all have to do with a fairy tale, or fictional text. The words on our vocabulary cards were verbs, or actions, that people can do or say. I know that the elements and the verbs both connect to the story we will be reading today. Can anyone help me figure out how they go together?"
  • Allow students a minute or two to brainstorm the connection in their small groups. Call on a few students to share out their ideas.
  • Continue thinking aloud by saying, "Well, I'm hearing that we will read about the character, setting, problem, and solution in our story. We will learn more about each of the elements once we read. I'm also hearing that verbs are actions that might take place during the events in the story. Can anyone tell me who will be doing things or speaking in the story?
  • Continue active questioning until students realize that the characters will be doing the actions in the story.
(10 minutes)
  • Assign students to a partner, and pass out and project the Using My Own Words: The Frog Prince worksheet. Read the directions aloud and clarify any confusion.
  • Complete the first sentence together and ask a student to help rewrite the sentence on the board. Explicitly model figuring out the meaning of the word sob, referring to the vocabulary cards. Help the students think of another word or words to use to replace the word sob. Ask them to record the first answer on their worksheet.
  • Give the students five minutes to finish finding the verbs and rewriting the sentences on their worksheet. Walk around to support students who need extra support.
  • Call on students to share their answers aloud and record the answers on the board. Next, ask students to share a few predictions they have about the setting, characters, problem, and solution of the story based on the sentences they read.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out The Frog Prince worksheet and ask students to keep out their Using My Own Words: The Frog Prince worksheets. Read the story aloud, asking students to follow along as the story is read. After each paragraph, call on a student to briefly summarize what happened in the story.
  • Provide the following sentence frames on the board to support student comprehension:
    • In the beginning of the story, the princess ____.
    • In the middle of the story, the frog ____.
    • At the end of the story, the princess and the frog ____.
  • Ask students to point to the section of their worksheet that is labeled "I can identify the elements of a fictional text!" and read through the sentence frames together.
  • Explain to the students that they will finish the sentence frames, using the text for support.
  • Encourage students to use their Vocabulary Cards worksheet and what they learned about verb meaning to support them with challenging words as they read the story.


  • Define the elements of text in English and L1 prior to the lesson.
  • Define vocabulary words in English and L1 with supporting visuals.
  • Allow students to work with partners during the word level activity.
  • Pair students with sympathetic non-EL student during the sentence level activity.
  • Provide sentence stems/frames for students to use when orally sharing their predictions.
  • Provide simplified text for students to refer to as they fill out the sentence frame worksheet.
  • Provide students with photographs of completed concept maps to paste in their journals after the lesson is over.


  • Encourage students to create sentences with each vocabulary word and orally share to their partner.
  • Have students re-read each sentence aloud to check for clarity.
(5 minutes)
  • Gather the students back to their seats and ask one set of partners to read their finished sentence frames aloud. Have students check through their sentences to make sure they wrote them down correctly.
  • Refer back to the concept maps on the whiteboard and say to the students, "In the beginning of our lesson, we brainstormed everything we already knew about fairy tales and verbs. Now that our lesson is over, let's fill up our concept map with words, sentences, and pictures of what we learned!"
  • Pass out colorful whiteboard markers to each student and give them time to complete the concept maps. Use the concept maps as a formative assessment to gauge student understanding of the elements of a fictional text and verbs.
(2 minutes)
  • Write the following discussion prompts on the board and have students share their answers with an elbow partner.
    • Using two of the elements of a fictional text, explain your favorite part of the story.
    • Create your own sentence with a saying and doing verb.
    • In your own words, explain how characters and verbs connect.

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