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Using Story Elements to Compare and Contrast Fiction Texts
Students will be able to compare and contrast the story elements between two fictional texts.
- Tell students that today they will look at fictional texts, which are texts about imagined characters and events.
- Explain to students that fictional texts contain important elements called story elements that enable the story to run smoothly and allow the action to develop in a logical way that the reader can follow.
- Inform students that these story elements include characters, setting, plot, conflict, resolution, and theme.
- Tell students that today they will be comparing and contrasting the story elements of two fictional texts.
- Explain to students that to compare means to look for elements that are similar and to contrast means to look for elements that are different.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Post a piece of chart paper on the board with the story elements listed.
- Call on volunteers to define each of the story elements and provide support as needed.
- Character is a person, or sometimes an animal, who takes part in the action of the story and who the story is about.
- Setting is where and when the story takes place.
- Plot is a series of events and character actions that relate to the main conflict.
- Conflict is a struggle between two opposing forces.
- Resolution is the solution to the problem.
- Theme is the central idea in a story.
- Write each definition on the chart paper.
- Tell students that they will compare and contrast these story elements from two different fictional texts.
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Project the Compare Story Elements worksheet onto the board.
- Tell students that we will complete a portion of this table as a class.
- Call on classroom volunteers to suggest two stories to compare and contrast. (Tip: encourage students to select stories that you have read previously in the classroom so that everyone is familiar with the story elements from the two stories.)
- Write the names of the two stories at the top of the paper.
- Read aloud the text in the shaded box in each row so that students have a clear understanding of what type of information they should incorporate into this table.
- Divide students into small groups and distribute the Compare Story Elements worksheet to each student.
- Tell students to complete the first two rows of the table in their small groups.
- Circulate around the groups and provide support as needed.
- Come together as a group to discuss students' answers and fill in the projected worksheet with their findings.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Tell students they will complete the remainder of the table independently.
- Circulate and offer support as needed.
- Pre-teach an introductory lesson on story elements for students needing more practice with this concept.
- Allow students needing extra support to continue working in a small group during Independent Work Time.
- Enable students to focus on one or two of the story elements instead of completing the entire table.
- Provide students with glossaries or dictionaries.
- Challenge students to add a third column to their table so that they will compare and contrast story elements from three different fictional texts.
- Provide students with lined paper or writing journals and have them compare and contrast story elements in an essay format as opposed to a table.
- Project the Compare Story Elements worksheet that was used during the Guided Practice/Modeling section back onto the board.
- Draw another column so that there is room to add a third story to compare and contrast with the two stories that the students worked on earlier in the lesson. (Tip: select a third story that you have read previously in the classroom so that everyone is familiar with the story elements from that story.)
- Call on volunteers to fill in each row for the third story.
- Ask for students to give a thumbs-up if they agree with their classmates' contributions or a thumbs-down if they disagree.
- Monitor students' responses to gauge understanding.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Explain to students that being able to determine similarities and differences in stories can help improve reading skills and comprehension.
- Remind students that today they compared and contrasted the story elements from fictional stories.
- Ask students to brainstorm a list of other things that you can compare and contrast in fictional texts (i.e., narrator/point of view, author's style, genre, etc.).