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Lesson Plan

Elements of a Short Story (SMART Board) by ECSDM


English Language Arts (2005), English Language Arts (NYS P-12 Common Core)

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Review the characteristics of a short story.
  • Focus on elements of plot.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of plot by applying the term in familiar contexts.
  • Utilize a plot diagram graphic organizer to analyze the short story Eleven by Sandra Cisneros.


This is an introductory lesson to a short story unit, in which students will read, analyze, and discuss various short stories. It provides the necessary literary terms associated with short story structure. It utilizes a PowerPoint presentation as a tool for students to take notes. It incorporates an interactive plot diagram activity.


One 46-minute class


PowerPoint presentation
Interactive plot diagram website (Access this website at http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/plot-diagram/)
Copies of Letter to parents
Copies of Plot Diagram Homework

  • 5 Elements of a Short Story.ppt
  • Letter to parents
  • Plot Diagram Homework
  • Step by Step Procedure

    1. Students will be introduced to elements of a short story through a PowerPoint presentation.
    2. Students will take notes on important information as directed by the teacher.
    3. Students will actively listen as the teacher explains that plot structure can be applied to other situations, such as storytelling, television, movies and more.
    4. Students will actively listen as the teacher explains to students that the class will complete a plot diagram using the short story Eleven that we read recently.
    5. Students will brainstorm events in the story. The teacher will write these events on the board as students’ volunteer information. For example: Rachel crying, Rachel putting on the sweater, Syliva saying the sweater is Rachel's, Phyllis remembering the sweater is hers, Rachel saying her birthday is ruined anyway, Mrs. Price putting the sweater on Rachel's desk.
    6. Students will correctly choose major events from the brainstorm list to complete the plot diagram. The teacher will write the proper event on the plot diagram on the SMART Board.
    7. Students will discuss the difference between major events and other events in the story.
    8. Students will actively listen as the teacher explains the homework assignment. Students are to watch a 30-minute show on television and correctly complete a plot diagram graphic organizer of the show. The teacher will hand out the plot diagram and homework letter for parents.
    9. Students will copy key questions from the SMART Board onto the back of the plot diagram graphic organizer that will aid them in completing their homework.
      • What needed to be explained to viewers in the exposition?
      • What inciting event caused the action to begin to rise?
      • Where does the story peak? Is there a clear climax?
      • Which events lead up to the conclusion?
      • Is the story resolved? How?


    This lesson will assessed by teacher observation and discussion.

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