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Identify Story Elements

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Basics on the topic Identify Story Elements

Join Ari and Zayd and learn about identifying story elements.

Transcript Identify Story Elements

Identify story elements. Stories contain many elements, which are little parts that come together to make the story work. Story elements include setting; the time and place, characters; who is in the story, plot; the sequence of events, and theme; the message of the story. We gain a better understanding of what we're reading when we can identify these elements. Let's practise identifying these story elements while Zayd and Ari perform 'Zayd and the Dragon' on stage. Our story begins in the Middle Ages, where Ari, a fierce dragon, has been wreaking havoc on the kingdom of Heston for years. Zayd, Heston's strongest knight, decided enough was enough. He felt prepared to face Ari after years of training at Knight School. Zayd ventured deep into the mountains, where it was believed Ari would rest between attacks upon the city. "Ari! I am here to end your reign of terror!" bellowed Zayd. "My reign of terror? What are you talking about?" quizzed Ari. Zayd explained, "You’ve been coming to town, terrorising us for years now! And it must stop!" "Wait. No! I’ve had a sore throat that’s been making me cough for years. I’ve been trying to go and see the kingdom doctor!" replied Ari. Zayd suddenly understood everything. Ari had never actually attacked or burned down a single building. With that, Zayd felt sympathy for Ari and accompanied them to Heston to see the doctor. Everyone felt guilty after Zayd told the entire story to the kingdom. They should never have judged Ari based simply on the fact that they are a dragon! Let's take notes on a chart like this! First, we identify the setting. The story takes place in the Middle Ages, in a place called Heston. Next, identify the characters. Who are the characters, and what are their roles? There is a knight, Zayd, and a dragon, Ari. Zayd is the hero, and Ari is the enemy. Now, identify the plot. What is the problem, and how is it resolved? The problem was that the dragon kept attacking the town. It was resolved by Zayd going to fight the dragon, but instead helping them find a doctor. Finally, identify the theme. The story is teaching us that you should never judge a book by its cover! We know this because the people of Heston judged Ari because they are a dragon, instead of getting to know them. As the performance ends, let's review! Remember, identifying story elements can help you understand stories better. Look for elements such as setting, characters, plot and theme. "Ari, I've been thinking... wouldn't it have made more sense if I was the dragon? I mean, I am a real dragon after all..."

Identify Story Elements exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Identify Story Elements.
  • What is a plot?


    The plot tells us what happened in the story.

    The plot tells us how the characters overcome the challenge they are facing.

    The setting is where and when the story takes place.


    The plot of the story is the sequence of events. This is the correct answer. The setting is where the story takes place.

    The plot consists of two essential parts: the problem and the resolution. These words are correct. The hero and the enemy are kinds of characters.

  • Identify the setting in the story.


    The setting is when and where a story takes place.

    A setting can identify a specific year or date, a longer period of time, or even just during a particular season.

    There are two words/phrases that need to be highlighted.


    The setting is the Middle Ages in the kingdom of Heston. This is when and where the story takes place, so it is the correct answer.

    Ari and Zayd are both characters. Ari is a dragon and Zayd is a knight, so these words tell us more about the characters.

    Training is an activity Zayd engaged in before the story began.

  • Identify the setting and the characters in the story.


    The setting tells where and when the story takes place.

    The setting can be on a specific day (or time of day) or sometime during a longer period of time.

    Characters are the people who are in the story.

    There are two characters and three words/phrases that identify the setting to highlight.


    The story takes place on a spring Saturday morning at a duck pond. These words should be highlighted in green.

    The characters in the story are Zar and Maddie. These names should be highlighted in blue.

  • Identify the problem and the resolution in the story.


    The problem is something that is preventing the main character(s) from getting what they want.

    The resolution is an action that one of the main characters takes to solve the problem.

    The resolution is usually an action taken by one of the main characters in order to solve the problem. The ducks are not the main characters in the story.


    The problem is Maddie can't feed the ducks in the rain. The resolution is they used Zar's umbrella. Using the umbrella to lead the ducks to the pavilion enables Maddie to feed the ducks without getting wet. These are the correct answers.

    • The ducks are hungry in the story, so we can't say the ducks aren't hungry.
    • While the ducks are far from the pavilion early in the story, they only need the pavilion for shelter because it is raining and don't want to get wet.
    • Maddie does not run out of grapes until after the resolution of their problem.
    • The ducks did follow them, but Maddie and Zar had to do something to get the ducks to follow them. They use the umbrella to lead them back to the pavilion.
  • Which of the following is NOT one of the elements of a story?


    Story elements are little parts of the story that come together to make the story work.

    Story elements help us better understand what we are reading.

    The author is not part of the story.


    The author is the writer of the story. The author is not a part of the story, and therefore is not an element of the story. Author is the correct answer.

    Setting is the time and place in which the story takes place. Setting is an element of the story.

    Characters are who the story is about. Characters are an element of the story.

    Plot is the sequence of events in the story. Plot is an element of the story.

    Theme is the message of the story. Theme is an element of the story.

  • Identify the story elements in "The Choice."


    The setting is the time and place where the story takes place.

    The characters are who is in the story.

    The plot is the sequence of events in the story.

    The theme is the message of the story.

    The setting can be a specific date or sometime during a period of time.

    Theme is what the story is trying to say to you - the message of the story.

    The plot is what happened in the story - the problem and the resolution.


    The setting is in Daniel's living room.

    The characters are Daniel and Brandon.

    The plot is Daniel wanted to play football, but there were no teams in his village. Brandon suggested that he play on a cricket team, so Daniel decided to do that and practise his football skills with friends.

    The theme is Sometimes we have to make compromises when we can't get exactly what we want.

    • Brandon mentions that the cricket team practises at a park in their village, but the story takes place in their living room at home.
    • Daniel may not have known how to play cricket, but that is not the problem in this story.