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Story Elements. What do all stories have in common?. Characters Setting Conflict (problem) Plot (events) Theme. Characters. Characters are the people, animals, or objects who make the action happen in a story A story can have many characters, or just a few.

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What do all stories have in common l.jpg
What do all stories have in common?

  • Characters

  • Setting

  • Conflict (problem)

  • Plot (events)

  • Theme


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Characters

  • Characters are the people, animals, or objects who make the action happen in a story

  • A story can have many characters, or just a few


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Can you name the characters in these stories?

  • The Three Little Pigs

  • Cinderella

  • Spider-Man

  • Ratatouille

  • The Frog Prince


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Setting

  • The setting is the time and place of the story


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Can you find the setting of this scene?

  • Place

  • This picture is of a beach

  • Time

  • It’s hard to tell the time from this picture. We’d need more details to figure that out


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Inferring setting

Sometimes the author doesn’t come out and explain the setting. Can you make an inference with the paragraph below?

Anna sighed. She hated having to do so many chores. Her mother was always telling her to fetch the water from the well, watch her brothers and sisters, and fetch wood for the fire. “I wish that I could go to school,” she sighed, looking at her bare feet. But with her father in the Union Army, she had to help her mother.


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Inferring setting

The clues tell us that this happens in the past. Can you guess the exact time period? There is a clue!

Anna sighed. She hated having to do so many chores. Her mother was always telling her to fetch the water from the well, watch her brothers and sisters, and fetch wood for the fire. “I wish that I could go to school,” she sighed, looking at her bare feet. But with her father in the Union Army, she had to help her mother.


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What about fairy tales?

  • With fantasy stories, it’s hard to tell a time and place

  • Sometimes you can just say that a story happened in a “fantasy world” or in “fairy tale time”


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Review

  • What two story elements have we learned about so far?

  • Character and setting

  • What are the two parts of setting?

  • Time and place


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Conflict

  • The conflict in a story is the problem

  • Every story has to have a conflict

  • The conflict is what drives the action in the story


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Kinds of conflict

  • Stories have different kinds of conflict. It’s not always just two people fighting!


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Person versus person

  • In this kind of conflict, two people have different ideas about what should happen

  • Here is a playground. What kind of person versus person conflict could happen here?


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Person versus self

  • In this kind of conflict, the problem is inside the main character

  • Suppose that you were hired to work on this ship and climb up into the rigging. What kind of internal conflict might you have?


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Person versus environment

  • In this kind of conflict, someone has to battle the environment, usually to survive

  • Suppose you were stranded at this place. What would you need to survive?


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Think about conflict!

  • Think about a story that you have read lately. What was the conflict?

  • Short stories often have just one conflict. Longer chapter books may have one main conflict, and several less important conflicts


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Review

  • The story element that includes the time and place of the story

  • Setting

  • The people or animals who act in a story

  • Characters

  • The problem in a story

  • Conflict


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Plot

  • The events of a story make up the plot

  • In other words, the plot is what happens!


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The plot of a story follows a pattern

Climax

Rising Action

Falling Action

Exposition

Resolution


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Plot part: Exposition

  • The exposition is the beginning of the story

  • The author introduces the characters and the setting


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Plot part: Rising action

  • Things get more exciting with the rising action

  • This is when the conflict is introduced


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Plot part: Climax

  • The climax is the turning point of the story

  • It’s often the most exciting part

  • Nothing will be the same again


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Think about it!

  • The plot of a story looks like a mountain. Why do you think the climax is at the top?


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Plot part: Falling action

  • The falling action is the part of the story that happens after the climax

  • In some stories, this is a long part; in other stories, it happens quickly


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Plot part: Resolution

  • The resolution is the end of the story

  • Everything is resolved and explained


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Think about it!

  • A story that ends at the climax is called a cliffhanger. Why do you think this is so?

climax


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Theme

  • The theme of a story is the underlying idea. It’s the big message, the big idea.

  • The theme is the point of the story. Without a theme, a story doesn’t make much sense.


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Some common themes

  • You’ll often see the same themes pop up again and again.

Good will triumph over evil

Honesty is the best policy


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More themes

Friendship is more important than popularity

Hold onto dreams, because they might come true

Slow and steady wins the race

Hard work will pay off in the end

Can you think of stories or movies that show these themes?


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Review

  • What is the plot of a story?

    • The events

  • Which part of the plot is the most exciting?

    • The climax

  • What is the main idea or message of a story?

    • The theme


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What have you learned about story elements?

  • What have you learned about story elements? Share your ideas with a partner.


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