Skip Navigation

Story Elements with Picture Books

Main Core Tie

Secondary Library Media (6-12)
Strand 1: Standard 2:

Additional Core Ties

English Language Arts Grade 9-10
Writing Standard 3 a.

Time Frame

1 class periods of 30 minutes each


Crystal Hansen


In conjunction with a language arts teacher, whose students are writing short stories, the teacher librarian will review important story elements using picture books.


Teacher librarians will need two short and silly picture books that will appeal to older readers, such as "That is Not a Good Idea" by Mo Willems or "I'm Bored" by Michael Ian Black. They will give students copies of the "Important Story Elements" handout. A white board with markers is also helpful.

Background for Teachers


Student Prior Knowledge

Some familiarity with story structure is helpful, but not essential.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will comprehend a literary text. They will set a purpose for reading (to identify certain story elements) and use a graphic organizer to summarize important story elements and information. They will later apply this knowledge to writing their own short stories.

Instructional Procedures

Students will draw on background knowledge with a quick discussion of story elements. They will give the teacher librarian examples of popular protagonists (ie. Harry Potter) and antagonists (Voldemort).

The teacher librarian will also ask them to define the elements of conflict, climax, and resolution, and write their examples and definitions on a white board.

Next, students are given their handouts and asked to listen to a picture book and identify these elements within it. As they read, students will complete the graphic organizer handout.

The class will then discuss their answers as a group. This process may be repeated with another story, or you may ask the students to think about these elements, but not write them down for the second book and discuss them verbally.

Classroom language arts teachers may then ask students to work on their own short stories and incorporate these elements.

Assessment Plan

Assessment is informal, and comprehension will be measured by completion of graphic organizers and class discussions. The classroom teacher may also develop a rubric for the short story that includes these elements.

Created: 06/12/2017
Updated: 02/05/2018