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The story elements of “Thunder Cake” are discussed here


Language Arts  


2, 3  

Title – Story Elements

By – Lisa Lindsay-Jones

Primary Subject – Language Arts

Grade Level – 2-3

Instructional Objective:

    Students will be introduced to story elements such as setting, character, plot, movement through time and conclusion by listening and discussing the story

    Thunder Cake

    by Patricia Polacco.


  • Chart paper
  • Markers

  • Thunder Cake

    by Patricia Polacco


    Explain to students that in order to understand the books that we read, we need to understand that books have different elements that make up a story. Once we have a better understanding of the different parts of a story we can break down the story into smaller parts and it can help us both explain what we just read and also write about it.

Instructional Procedure:


      Provide students with the terminology of story elements.

      • What are characters?
      • What is setting?
      • What is plot?
      • What is the movement through time?
      • What is a conclusion?


      While reading

      Thunder Cake

      , stop and identify story elements as they come up. Ask leading questions:

      • Who are the main characters so far?
      • Where does the story take place? How much time has passed? What is the plot? What happened at the end? Fill in the chart paper as you go.

    Guided Practice:

      When the story is over review the story elements and ask students to share what they have learned.

    Independent Practice:

      Have students read a story with a buddy and together they should talk about the story elements in the story that they are reading.


      Meet back as a group and discuss with students the books that they read with their buddy. They should answer questions such as:

      • What was main character in your book?
      • What was the setting?…


    Directly observe students as they read with their buddy. Make sure that both students are participating in the discussion. Stop to ask questions. Make sure when you partner your groups that students that are reading at a lower level should be with a buddy that can read the story to them. This is not a decoding lesson, but a comprehension one, so students should have the opportunity to discuss books without worrying about whether they can decode them.


Lisa Lindsay-Jones


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