Lesson plan

Multimedia Elements of Fiction: Beginning to End

Graphic novels, animated stories, and storytelling videos pop with enhanced meaning, tone and beauty. Use this lesson plan with a mentor text to teach your students to note how such features contribute to the reader’s experience.
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Students will be able to analyze how visual or multimedia elements enhance a reader’s experience throughout fiction texts.

(5 minutes)
  • Post a T-chart labeled "Fiction Text" on one column and "Visual/Media Elements" in the second column. Fold the chart so that only the "Fiction Text" portion shows.
  • Have your students turn and tell a neighbor about two or more books, videos, or movies that have strong visual or multimedia features (including pictures or illustrations, an odd physical form, vivid language, or directions for the audience). Listen in as they share with a partner.
  • Call your class to attention and have students share a title they shared or heard with the whole class. As they do, note comments in fiction section of the T-chart, with the associated visual elements in the "Visual/Media Elements" column.
  • Explain to your students that this is an example of how they’ll show how observant readers note visual elements in fiction and their effect on the reader’s experience throughout a text.
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud a short early chapter or opening of a mentor text containing a strong visual element (i.e. vivid illustrations, diagrams, or constructions). Mentor texts are selections that provide literary examples of lesson teachings for your class. A brief animated short or spoken word video clip would work fine here, too!
  • Show a copy of the Analyzing Elements of Fiction: Visuals worksheet and fill in:
    • Author
    • Title
    • Beginning chapters column of details
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud a selection from a middle part of your mentor text and repeat the analysis notes for the Analyzing Elements of Literature: Fiction worksheet ‘middle chapters’ section.
  • Review the Beginning and Middle column sections with your students for how both sections describe visual elements throughout the text.
(5 minutes)
  • Display a latter portion of the mentor text on a document camera or overhead projector for students to read independently. Have students complete the Ending portion of the Analyzing Elements of Fiction: Visuals worksheet.


  • Use a class set of a text or select excerpts for students to follow throughout the lesson
  • Pair students and have them be responsible for two sections for each column, as "section specialists."


  • Students can use a personal text selection from their independent fiction reading to analyze.
  • Applications like Keynote and Powerpoint are great for displaying slides of texts and T-charts that can be modified in real time by adding student comments during a presentation. This makes for a great document for later reference.
(10 minutes)
  • Show your students a previously unanalyzed section of the mentor text.
  • Hand out a sticky note and have your students note:
    1. one visual element
    2. an explanation of how it visually enhances the reader’s experience
    3. their name and date
  • Upon completion, have students add their notes to a designated area (this could be the board, a poster paper sheet, or anywhere accessible to all students). Challenge your students to categorize their sticky note comments in common groups.
(10 minutes)
  • Have a group or series of individual students explain and validate the sticky note groupings (or lack of grouping).
  • Discuss: What common themes, truths, or experiences do I share from today’s text?

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