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Elements of a Short Story

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  1. Elements of a Short Story 7th Grade Language Arts Morgan Park High School

  2. Definition of a Short Story • What does a short story look like? • Tells about a single event or experience • Fictional (not true) • It has a beginning, middle, and end

  3. Elements of Short Stories • What are the elements of a short story? • Setting • Characterization • Plot • Conflict • Climax • Resolution • Theme • Point of view

  4. Short Story Vocabulary • What is setting? • Setting: Tells the reader where and when the story takes place.

  5. What is characterization? • Characterization:The process by which an author presents and develops a fictional character

  6. Methods of Characterization • What the character says • What the character does • What the character thinks • What other characters say about him/her • What the narrator tells you directly

  7. Charlie Gordon is mentally disabled. • “Miss Kinnian says maybe they can make me smart. I want to be smart. My name is Charlie Gordon. I am 37 years old and 2 weeks ago was my brithday. I have nuthing more to rite now so I will close for today.”

  8. Miss Luella Jones is unafraid, and stands up for herself. “The large woman simply turned around and kicked him right square in his blue-jeaned sitter. Then she reached down, picked the boy up by his shirt front, and shook him until his teeth rattled.”

  9. Big brother is ashamed of his younger, disabled brother. “I thought it was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who possibly was not all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow.”

  10. Ivan is a huge man who cannot hear or speak and is not particularly smart. “Ivan is an incredibly strong fellow,” remarked the general, “but he has the misfortune to be deaf and dumb. A simple fellow, but, I’m afraid, like all his race, a bit of a savage.”

  11. Miss Jones is a heavy-set woman and carries a large purse. “She was a large woman with a large purse that had everything in it but hammer and nails. It had a long strap and she carried it slung across her shoulder.”

  12. What is the protagonist? • Who is the antagonist? • protagonist: A story’s main character (the person with the problem) • antagonist: The character in conflict with the protagonist

  13. What is a round character? • What is a flat character? • round character: A fully developed character, often prone to change flat character: A one-dimensional character, typically not central to the story

  14. What is the plot? • Plot: A series of events through which the writer reveals what is happening, to whom, and why.

  15. What is conflict? • A problem in the story that has to be resolved

  16. What are the types of conflict? • 1)  External - A struggle with a force outside one's self. • 2)  Internal - A struggle within one's self; a person must make some decision, overcome pain, quiet their temper, resist an urge, etc.

  17. What are the four main kinds of conflicts? • 1. Man vs. Man • leading character struggles with • his physical strength against other men • 2. Man vs. Nature • leading character struggles • against elements of nature

  18. 3. Man vs. Society • leading character struggles against • ideas, practices, or customs of other people. • 4. Man vs. Himself/Herself • leading character struggles against • with his/her own soul • ideas of right or wrong • choices, etc.

  19. What is the climax? • Climax: When the action comes to its highest point of conflict. • It is sometimes also the turning point in a story

  20. What is the resolution? • Resolution: How the conflict is solved. The “conclusion” of the story.

  21. PLOT DIAGRAM Climax: High point of story! Rising Action (action leading to climax) Falling Action (action after climax) Conflict Exposition (characters, setting and conflict is introduced) Resolution (how conflict is solved)

  22. What is a theme? • Theme: The story’s main ideas. The “message” the writer intends to communicate by telling the story.

  23. The new 7th-grade English teacher was mean – really, really mean. She wouldn’t accept any assignments done in pencil. She went berserk when someone tried to turn in a paper torn from a notebook. She called your parent every time you missed an assignment. All the kids hated her. But when the test results came in, every kid in the class scored in the 99th percentile.

  24. A town in Hawaii was located near a small, deep quarry surrounded by high rocks where kids went to swim in the summer. Recently, a group of friends had been swimming in the quarry and diving into the water from the rocks, when one of the 12-year-olds dove into the water, hit his head on a submerged rock, and drowned.

  25. Now, on a hot and sunny afternoon, Andre and his buddies went to the quarry to swim and cool off. Andre’s friends decided to dive from the sharp, dangerous rocks. One by one, they climbed up the slippery side, and one by one, they held their noses and plunged into the icy water below.

  26. As he crept up the rock, all Andre could think of was the poor, dead boy who had foolishly jumped to his death. When he reached the top, he inched his way to the edge of the cliff, his toes tightly curled around the jagged rocks. Looking down to the water, Andre felt dizzy and slightly sick to his stomach. Far below, Andre’s friends shouted, “Come on, chicken! Cluck, cluck, cluck. Jump, chicken! Jump”

  27. Andre took a deep breath, closed his eyes, turned around, and slowly made his way back down the rock. Behind him, his friends were laughing raucously and yelling insults at Andre. As he made his way home, Andre felt a sense of peace and a sense of power.

  28. What is point of view? • Point of view: The position of the narrator of the story and what the writer sees from that vantage point.

  29. First person POV is when the narrator tells the story using “I, We, Me, etc” • “As I placed the carefully wrapped package on the park bench, I looked up and saw Molly walking across the street. I hoped that she hadn’t seen me.” What is first person point of view?

  30. The narrator is not a character in the story, but is an outsider, or third person. • “As George placed the carefully wrapped package on the park bench, he looked up and saw Molly walking across the street.” What is Third person OBJECTIVEpoint of view?

  31. Narrator sees into the mind of only one character • “George, anxiously hoping that no one was watching him, placed a carefully wrapped package on an empty park bench. But when he looked around, he saw Molly watching him from across the street.” What is Third person LIMITED point of view?

  32. Story is told by an all knowing narrator who knows more about all the characters and events than any one character could know. • “George, anxiously hoping that no one was watching him, placed a carefully wrapped package on an empty park bench. But Molly, who was walking home, saw him and couldn’t help thinking that he was acting strangely. What is third person OMNISCIENT point of view?

  33. Ms. Bolden looked at Darrell sternly. She simply didn’t know what to do with this boy. Darrell had been in Ms. Bolden’s office twice earlier this week. Now here he was again, and this time he was charged with something much more serious. Ms. Bolden shook her head. There really was no doubt in her mind. Darrell was guilty. She looked at the police officer standing next to Darrell. No question whatsoever--Darrell had done it.

  34. I can’t believe what is happening to me. I know that I’ll never convince Ms. Arrington and the cop that I had nothing to do with this. Man! I didn’t do it. Why won’t anyone believe me? I’ve been in trouble before, but I’ve never done anything like this! I’ve got to convince them, or I might as well kiss my life good-bye.

  35. Officer Perry looked at Edric and scratched his head. All the evidence pointed to Edric’s guilt, but the officer just couldn’t be sure. Mrs. Jackson, on the other hand, knew that Edric was guilty as sin. His numerous brushes with authority in the past left no question in his mind at all. Edric hung his head, knowing that this time he would not be able to talk his way out of trouble.

  36. The use of a word, a phrase, or a description, which represents a deeper meaning than the words themselves. What is Symbolism?

  37. a sudden twist, a ‘switcheroo,’ or a surprise ending • when you say one thing, but mean another. When it is done to hurt, it is called sarcasm. What is irony? What is verbal irony?

  38. when you expect one thing, but another happens. • when the audience knows something that the characters do not. What is situational irony? What is dramatic irony?

  39. Foreshadowing is when the author gives clues or hints about what might happen later on in a story. • Example: Nothing could go wrong on such a perfect day. Or so I, in my childlike innocence thought. What is foreshadowing?

  40. Short Story Great writers are able to use the elements of the short story with such precision that the reader is caught up in the action of the story. This is a mark of a good story and the goal of a writer.

  41. Now, we are at the end of our notes! Please write a 3-5 sentence summary of what your notes are all about. This should be at the bottom of your last page of notes.