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Elements of Fiction

English Language Arts, Grade 4

 
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There are three elements in every work of fiction. The characters are the people or animals that are in the story. The narrator may be a person in the story or a person who is telling the story about someone else. The setting is the time and place that the story happens. It can take place long ago, right now, or in the distant future. The events can happen here or on another continent or even another planet! The plot is the series of events that occur in the story. The plot is based on a problem. It has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning “sets the stage.” You meet the characters and find out the problem. In the middle, there is a rising action. The characters work to solve their problem. Then, there is a climax. It is the most exciting moment in the story. It is followed by falling action. By the end, the problem has been solved. The solution is called the resolution. In the story below, the character is shown in green. The setting is shown in red. The plot problem is shown in blue. In this story, the narrator is not a character and is telling what’s happening to Burt as if he were watching the scene from above. Burt looked around the dark, cheerless basement. There were two windows high up on the walls. Although they were small, he might have been able to climb out them. However, they were both blocked by black metal bars. He had already tried the door at the top of the stairs, which had at least three deadbolts on it. Of course the bolts were thrown from the other side. Burt held his head in frustration. He was trapped, and nobody knew where he was! See how the same story changes when the narrator is the character Burt: I looked around the dark, cheerless basement. There were two windows high up on the walls. Although they were small, I was so desperate I might have been able to squeeze through them. However, they both had black metal bars blocking them. I had already tried the door at the top of the stairs, which had at least three deadbolts on it. Of course the bolts were thrown from the other side. I held my head and tried to fight down the panic. I was trapped, and nobody knew where I was! Which version do you prefer? Elements of Fiction Visit www.newpathlearning.com for Online Learning Resources. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. 92-4040
Read each passage. Then, identify the elements of fiction for it. The Sheriff of Nottingham swore that he himself would get Robin Hood. He wanted that reward money. The Sheriff did not know about the group of men Robin had gathered about himself in Sherwood Forest. He thought that he could serve a warrant for his arrest as if Robin were any other man. Of course he had no idea where to find Robin. So the Sheriff offered 8 gold coins to any man who would serve this warrant. But the men of Nottingham knew more about Robin Hood and his doings than the Sheriff did. No one dared to serve a warrant upon the bold outlaw. Two weeks passed, and in that time, no one came forward to do the Sheriff’s business. adapted from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle Who are the characters? _________________________________________ Is the narrator a character in the story? _______________________________ What is the setting? _____________________________________________ What is the plot problem? ________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Karait was a poisonous snake. Rikki danced up to him with the odd rocking, swaying motion of all mongooses. It looks funny, but it is so perfectly balanced a gait that he could fly off from it at any angle. In dealing with snakes, this is an advantage. Rikki was doing a much more dangerous thing than fighting a cobra. Karait was so small, and could turn so quickly, that unless Rikki bit him close to the back of the head, he would get the return stroke in his eye or his lip. Rikki rocked back and forth, looking for a good place to grab hold. adapted from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling Who are the characters? _________________________________________ Is the narrator a character in the story? _______________________________ What is the setting? _____________________________________________ What is the plot problem? ________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 8 GOLD PIECES for the capture of Robin of the Hood by Order of the Sheriff of Nottingham Elements of Fiction Visit www.newpathlearning.com for Online Learning Resources. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. 92-4040
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