The focus of this lesson is the definition and identifcation
of the elements of fiction, how the elements improve a story, and
what would happen if an element is weak or underdeveloped.
Lesson fundamental understandings:a. The elements of fiction are theme,
character, setting, and plot.
b. A plot has a conflict which must
c. Stories are enhanced through the use of dialogue
d. The integration of the elements of fiction
creates the framework for a story.
e. Story effectiveness is
diminished when one or more of the elements are removed.
National StandardsStudents employ a
wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing
process elements appropriately to communicate with different
audiencees for a variety of purposes.
State Standards3.6.1 Analyze the
influence of setting on characters and on how the problem or
conflict is resolved. 3.6.2 Make logical predictions about
characterts action based on evidences of text. 5.6.3 Write
narratives or short stories that include relevant and meaningful
dialogue. 5.6.4 Write responses to literary selections that
demonstrate an understanding of character motivation and
development. 6.6.2 Organize ideas through activities such as
categorizing and outlining.
Prior to the unit students have an understanding of the writing
process, and have been introduced to the elements of fiction (i.e.
story elements) and the proper use of Standard English. This lesson
will reinforce the elements of fiction as they relate to the writing
Information/Situations/Setting/TimeTime Frame: 1 – 2
days (50 minute class periods)
Collection of Pacific Northwest Raven tales, found in plentitude on
Pre-lesson preparation: Become familiar with
the legends of the raven, as well as some characteristics of the
Native Americans of the Northwest and the actual bird:
For additional resources,
using a search engine, type in keywords Native American Raven
Two Trade Books that are excellent are:
retold by Nancy Van Laan & illustrated by Beatriz
Raven: A Trickster from the Pacific Northwest by Gerald
Student journals will be checked for completion of elements of
fiction and tree maps.
Student Activity/Tasks1. The students
listen to a tale about ravens read by the teacher. (See Teacher
Information for suggested sources).
2. The students will create a
reenactment of a tale about ravens.
3. The students will discuss
in small groups and list in their journals the various elements of
fiction, including theme, characters, setting, plot (including
introduction, conflict resolution, and conclusion), and dialogue.
4. As a whole class, the students will discuss the question,
"How would eliminating one or more of the elements affect the
5. After finishing the discussison, each student will
create a Tree Map in their individual journals, branching each
element of fiction and citing examples from the story.
Students may rewrite the story, changing one or more elements,
which may change the ending. Students tape-record their rewritten
story. Students dramatize their rewritten story within a small
Reading & Science
Tree Map overhead
Variety of tales of the raven from the Pacific
Northwest Native American tribes
(collected by the author)
"Rainbow Crow" retold by Nancy Van Laan & illustrated by
"Raven: A Trickster from the Pacific Northwest" by
Copyright © 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
All rights reserved.