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Lesson 5: Writing the Elements

Lesson Details

Subject: English/Languages Arts
Learning Level: Middle School
Author(s): Bonnie Frazier & Brian Grisetti
Submitted by:


The focus of this lesson is to take each element of fiction and create a written example of each. The goal is for students to understand the elements from a reading perspective and transfer that learning to the writing stage.

Lesson fundamental understandings:
Essential Questions:

a. Writing a character into a story involves describing specific character traits.
b. Vivid description of time and place describes the setting.
c. Proper sequencing of the plot includes the introduction, conflict / resolution, and conclusion.
d. Including appropriate literary devices and descriptive language enhances the interest of the story.
e. Dialogue gives insight into the character and plot of the story.
f. Without a conflict in a story, there would be no story, and the characters would not have the opportunity to change and grow.


National Standards

Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g. conventions, style, and vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences, and for different purposes. Students use technology to locate, evaulate, and collect information from a variety of sources.

State Standards

5.6.3 Write narratives or short stories that include relevant and meaningful dialogue. 5.6.4 Write responses to literary selections that demonstrate and understanding of character motivation and development. 6.6.2 Organize ideas through activities such as categorizing and outlining. 3.6.1 Analyze the influence of setting on characters and how the problem or conflict is resolved. Literacy Standard #5: Appreciation of written expression can be effected by students' understanding of the process and the work involved.(eh)


Prerequisite Skills

Prior to this lesson, students should have been introduced to the elements of fiction in a story, the writing process, the proper use of Standard English, and how to include descriptive language and literary devices in a written format.

Teacher Information/Situations/Setting/Time

Time Frame:
5 days (50 minute periods)

Pencil, paper
flow map / plot line overhead

Pre-lesson preparation:
Teacher presents literary examples on the board and poster board.
Students create a flow map / plot line overhead for the students to use in the English journal.


A portfolio including written examples of each element studied.

Student Activity/Tasks

Day One
1. As a class, create a fictitous character.
2. After a whole class discussion, web the character traits on the overhead or board.
3. Students use descriptive language to write a description of the
4. Begin a Elements of Fiction portfolio and place the
character description in the portfolio.

Day Two
1. As a whole-class, discuss setting, time, and place.
2. List descriptive words on white board.
3. As a class, create a vivid description of a setting.
4. Individually, create a description of a setting and place in Elements of Fiction portfolio.

Day Three
1. The students will listen to a story read by the teacher.
2. As a whole-class, use a plot line to sequence the events.
3. Label introduction, conflict/resolution, and conclusion on the plot line.
4. Individuals create a plot line with appropriate labels of a different story (students can use a story from any medium).
5. Students will put their plot line in the Elements of Fiction portfolio.

Day Four
1. As a whole-class, compose a story using the fictitous character froom day one, the setting from day two, and the plot from day three.
2. The students will copy the story the class created into their English journal.

Day Five
1. The students will view a transparency of a four box cartoon.
2. As a whole-class, the students will discuss the conversation.
3. The class will use correct capitalization and punctuation to rewrite the dialogue.
4. The students will write their own four box cartoon including dialogue.
5. The students will place their four box cartoon in their Elements of Fiction portfolio.

Enrichment/Alternate Activity:

The teacher provides a collection of cartoons for the students to rewrite, a collection of front page newspaper for the to students to rewrite one of the stories, a series of pictures for the students to describe as the setting, and/or a collection of pictures of people the students can describe using a web or bubble map.


Reading & Art

Technology Requirements/Tools/Materials

Overhead projector


Additional Resources

Main URL:

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Copyright 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
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