Every story has a problem and every problem has a solution! Use this lesson to help students identify the problem and solution in fiction texts. Use it as a stand-alone lesson or as support to the lesson Compare and Contrast Short Stories.
Students will be able to identify similarities and differences between two short stories with similar themes.
Students will be able to identify the problem and solution in short stories using strategic partnering and graphic organizers.
Tell students to think of a problem they've had recently and share it with a partner. Show the definition of problem and provide the meaning in students' home language if applicable. Explain that it could be a problem with a friend, family, or any other challenging situation they have experienced.
Give them an example from your life, such as getting lost on a hike in the woods. Inform students that problems are a part of real life and also an important part of fiction stories. Characters in stories must experience problems in order for the story to have meaning and so that the reader can experience the satisfaction and joy of discovering a solution to solve the problem. Read aloud the definition of solution.
Ask a few students to share the problems their partner spoke of. Record these on a piece of chart paper with a T-chart labeled "problem" and "solution." Choose one or two of the students' problems and brainstorm possible solutions as a whole class. Jot these down as bullet points under solution on the chart paper.
Tell students that today they will focus on identifying problems and solutions in short stories.