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Literary Elements. Mrs. Bannen Sixth Grade Reading. Text Structure. T he particular order or pattern a writer uses to present ideas. The way a piece of writing is organized .

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Literary elements

Literary Elements

Mrs. Bannen

Sixth Grade Reading

Text structure
Text Structure

  • The particular order or pattern a writer uses to present ideas. The way a piece of writing is organized.

  • One type of text structure is Compare and Contrast. This is when an author tells the ways that people, things, or ideas are alike and different.

  • Another type of text structure is Problem-and-Solution. This is when the author states a problem and suggests a solution.

Author s purpose
Author’s Purpose

  • What the author tries to do by writing a particular work.

  • There are four main purposes authors use when writing; entertain, inform, persuade, and express emotions.

  • Knowing the author’s purpose helps you understand why you are reading.

Author s perspective
Author’s Perspective

The combination of experiences, values, and ideas that shape the way the author looks at the world.

- Being aware of the author’s perspective helps you understand why the author has chosen to tell a story in a certain way.


1. The person, animal or creature in a work of fiction


2. The characteristics of a person or creature.

Character continued
Character Continued

The protagonist is the “good guy.”

Character continued1
Character Continued

The person, creature, or force who opposes the main character is the “antagonist.”

Character continued2
Character Continued

MinorCharacters are ones who take part in the action, but who is not the focus of attention.

Main Characters are the characters who are central to a story and typically fully developed.

FlatCharacters are one sided or stereotypical.

RoundCharacters are fully developed and exhibit many traits – often both faults and virtues.

Dynamic Characterschange or grow during the course of a work.

Static Characters do not change through the course of a work.

Character continued3
Character Continued

A character in a folktale that is usually smaller and weaker than the opponent but has the advantage of cleverness is called a “trickster.”


  • Characterization is the way a writer develops a character’s personality.

  • There are two types of characterization

  • Direct Characterization: the story’s narrator makes direct statements about a character’s personality.

  • Indirect Characterization: the writer reveals a character’s personality through the character’s words and actions and through what others characters think and say about them.

The setting
The Setting

Setting-The time and location where the story takes place.

a)  place - geographical location.  Where is the action of the story taking place?

b)  time - When is the story taking place? (historical period, time of day, year, etc)

c)  weather conditions- Is it rainy, sunny, stormy, etc?

The setting1
The Setting

d)  social conditions - What is the daily life of the character like? Does the story contain local color (writing that focuses on the speech, dress, mannerisms, customs, traditions, etc. of a particular place)?

e)  mood or atmosphere - What feeling is created at the beginning of the story?  Is it bright and cheerful or dark and frightening?

f) In most stories the setting serves as the backdrop – a context in which the characters interact.

Setting continued
Setting Continued

Sensory details: information that appeals to the reader’s five senses and brings the story to life. (ex: the open-air theatres rocked with laughing crowds)

Concrete details: information that is specific. (ex: life in Ohio”)

The plot it s a sequence
The Plot-It’s a sequence

Plot- How the author arranges events to develop his/her idea or the sequence of events in a literary work.

a)  Exposition - The beginning of the story where the characters and the setting are revealed.

b)  Rising Action - This is where the events in the story become complicated and the conflict in the story is revealed (events between the introduction and climax).

c) Narrative Hook – The part of the story that gets the reader interested in the story. It’s what makes you want to read more.

The plot it s a sequence1
The Plot-It’s a sequence

d)  Climax - This is the highest point of interest and the turning point of the story.  The reader wonders what will happen next; will the conflict be resolved or not?

e)  Falling action - The events and complications begin to resolve themselves.  The reader knows what has happened next and if the conflict was resolved or not (events between climax and denouement).

f)  Resolution - This is the final outcome or untangling of events in the story.

Plot continued
Plot Continued

Plot diagram


Conflict- A struggle between opposing forces.

Conflict continued
Conflict Continued

There are two categories of conflict: 1)  External - A struggle with an outside force outside.

2)  Internal - A struggle within one's self; a person must make some decision, overcome pain, quiet their temper, resist an urge, etc.

Conflict continued1
Conflict Continued

More specific types of conflict:

1)  Character vs. Character (physical) - The leading character struggles with his physical strength against other characters, forces of nature, or animals.

2)  Character vs. Society (social) - The leading character struggles against ideas, practices, or customs of other people.

Conflict continued2
Conflict Continued

More specific types of conflict:

3)  Character vs. Self (psychological) -  The leading character struggles with himself/herself; with his/her own soul, ideas of right or wrong, physical limitations, choices, etc.

4) Character vs. Nature – The leading character struggles with some force of nature; trying to climb an extremely tall mountain in the rain, fighting a snowstorm to save a friend who is hurt…

Point of view
Point of View

Point of View- the perspective, or vantage point, from which the story is told.

Three commonly used points of view are:

First - Person

Omniscient Third - Person

Limited Third - Person

Point of view cont
Point of View Cont…

In First-Person point of view, the narrator is a character in the story and refers to himself or herself with the pronoun “I”.

Point of view cont1
Point of View Cont…

In stories from the Omniscient Third-Person point of view, the narrator knows and understands what each character thinks and feels. We are told everything about the story (all characters).

In stories from the Limited Third-Person point of view, the narrator shares the inner thoughts of feelings of one character, and everything is viewed from this characters perspective.


Foreshadowing- A hint about what is going to happen next.

For example, If you hear this: (JawsTheme)…you know someone is going to be eaten.


Flashback: an interruption in the normal time order of a story to show an event that happened earlier.

- it may help explain, clarify, or add emphasis to the main events of the story.


Theme- The author’s underlying main idea, purpose, or feeling they are trying to convey. The message about life the author wants to share.

Some simple examples of common themes from literature, TV, and film are:

- Things are not always as they appear to be

- Love is blind

- Believe in yourself

- People are afraid of change

Literary elements


  • A theme may be stated directly by the writer; however, most themes are not directly stated but are hidden.

Theme continued
Theme Continued

When folktales from different cultures have similar themes they are called “universal themes”

What could the universal theme of these three stories be?