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Story Elements (8.0)



The purpose of this activity is to identify basic literary elements. This GLE is the same for kindergarten, first, and second grade. We are going to check for this by identifying the characters, plot, and events in the sweet and colorful book Elmer. Then, we are going to create our own Elmer displaying the story elements.


  1. “I’m going to introduce you to a special friend named Elmer who is unhappy with the way he looks. Has anyone ever felt that way? Let me share Elmer with you.” Now read the book to the participants.

  2. Who is the main character in this story, the one that our story is about? Yes, the whole story is about Elmer. Are there any other characters? Yes, there are a lot of other elephants in the story. Elmer also passed a lion, tiger, hippo, turtle, zebra, and giraffe. What is the setting of this story; where does this story take place? Yes, in the jungle. What is the plot or what happens in our story? Can you name three things that happened in the story?

  3. It is very important to go ahead and introduce this type of vocabulary to our students, even our kindergarten students. They will be familiar with the terms at an early age.
  4. Now I need you to form groups of 5 or 6. I’m going to give each group a story elements map. We just discussed all of these elements, and now you are going to work together to complete the map. Please write your answers within the proper shape. Also, write at least one sentence for your plot. I’m also going to give each group a poster board, markers, and scissors. When you have completed your story map, you are going to make an Elmer for your group. Use the poster board to draw the outline of Elmer. Use the markers to decorate your Elmer in a way that works for your group. For example, you might all be VOL fans and want to decorate a UT Elmer. You must use your story map somewhere on your Elmer. Notice that the story map looks like a face. You may use it as Elmer’s face, or you may use it wherever you decide. When Elmer is complete, please cut him out. Choose one person from your group that will share Elmer with everyone.

  5. Are there any questions. I’m going to play some music while you work, and you may get started.

  6. Now we are going to share our Elmer creations. Please read your story maps and tell us why you decided on the pattern for Elmer.

  7. All of your Elmer’s were wonderful. Thank you for participating. You will have a copy of the story elements map on your c.d. I hope you introduce your students to Elmer too.

PLOT (What happened?)

Grade Level Expectations

  • GLE 0001.8.4 Identify basic literary elements.

  • GLE 0101.8.4 Identify basic literary elements.

  • GLE 0201.8.4 Identify basic literary elements.

Check for Understanding ()

  • 0101.8.7 Identify the characters, plot, and setting of a story.

  • 0201.8.10 Identify the characters, plot, and setting of a story.

Materials needed:

Elmer by David McKee, story elements map, pencils, poster board, markers, and scissors.

Assessment Activity Title: Story Elements Map

Description of Activity:

  1. Read Elmer by David McKee.

  2. Give each student a story elements map to be completed individually, within a group, or as a whole class.

  3. Have them create a large Elmer of their own design on the poster board.

  4. Instruct them to use the story elements map on their Elmer.

Assignment Extensions:

•Have an elephant parade with all of the elephants.

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