Second Grade Nest: Story Elements (Exploring ELA)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Story Elements (Exploring ELA)

Welcome back to the 3rd installment of Exploring ELA. I'm going to cover Story Elements today. This standards spans over many grades, but gets more and more specific the older the kiddos get. I'm going to discuss primary grades (kinder, first, second, and third grade) when covering story elements. 

Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.

Story Elements can be taught very closely with the retell standard. I think story elements would be a great place to start, since you have to master story elements before moving on to retelling. Retelling in first grade covers the basic character/setting/event elements. Once you start getting into second and third grade, it focuses more on the character and the problems that character faces. So, while a first grade teacher may read this blog post and think that many of the ideas are too advanced for his or her first graders, it is great to keep in mind what the students will need to learn in future grades and try to shape your teaching towards that.

Here is break-down of the standards first through third grade. 
Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
In a nutshell: 
1st grade- basic story elements
2nd grade- characters' challenge and solution
3rd grade- character traits, motivation, feelings and their actions

Each grade gets a little deeper in students' inference skills. In 3rd grade, there is a lot of exploring and inferring that may not be directly written out in the text. 

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Here are some of the key tasks that I think are important to hit as educators when tackling this standard: 
-introducing the basics
-using short stories to teach the basics
-expanding to focus on the character and their problem
-hands-on practice


1. Introducing the Basics
Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
Creative Teaching Press Mini Bulletin Board Set, Story Elements Language Arts (3794)
 I love this idea from Creative Teaching Press for a bulletin board! It could stay up the entire year as you build upon the material. Or it could just a board that would be used during your Story Elements unit.

Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.   Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
(Sources: Left- Eclectic Educating & Right- The Creative Apple)
Anchor charts are always a necessity when teaching mini lessons for me. I always need something to create WITH the students and have on display to refer back to throughout the unit. Here are two cute ideas from other bloggers on Story Elements. 

Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.  Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
 (Source: RL1.3 Pack)
This anchor chart and mini-lesson activity helps break each specific story element up for first grader to focus on the individual element. During this mini lesson, students will learn about the story elements one at a time or all at once, and then break into small groups after a read-aloud. Each group will focus on the story element they're given and present it to the class. 

Video for Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
 I have seen this video short floating around Pinterest and it is PERFECT for story elements. Tech tip: Use the website ViewPure to get no commericials. 


2. Using Stories to Teach the Basics
Once you have taught the basic story elements that make up a story (character, setting, events), reading practice and comprehension is a huge skill to master. Reading for understanding is a big part of common core reading. And story elements are at the root of understanding a story. They're the big pieces of the puzzle, so giving the students many opportunities to practice this is key.
Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
 (Passage taken from RL3.3)

Books for Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.


3. Expanding to Focus on a Character's Problem and Solution
First grade focuses on the basic story elements: character, setting, events. Second and third grade get much more focused on the character and what happens with the character throughout the story. Second grade standards focus on the characters challenges and how they respond to those challenges. Third grade gets a little deeper and explores the motivation and traits that students have to infer from their reading.
(Images show resources from RL3.3 and RL2.3)
I've heard it called many different things:
-Problem and solution
-Challenge and response
-Problem and reaction
No matter what you call it, this standard really wants students to focus on what type of events happen to the character and what the character does in response to this event.



4. Hand-On Practice 
Now, for the fun part! Time to practice, practice, practice.

Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
Kagan Cooperative Learning Story Elements Cube (MLS)
Amazing! This gets the kiddos talking and truly engaged with their reading.

Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
Post-Its are great for all lessons:  whole group, small group, independent, centers. During my small groups, I always liked to have the students draw or write the story elements on three different colored post-it notes. This helped them differentiate between the two. This is a first grade skill, but doesn't hurt to practice again and again in 2nd and 3rd.

Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
(Passage from RL1.3) 
Another use for Post-Its!
Have students write the problem and solution on a post-it note before they start answering their text-dependent questions. This always helps to solidify the difference between the challenge and how the character responds. 




Story Elements: Activities and teaching ideas- educational ideas for characters, setting, events, problem and solution, and more. Hands-on ideas for a first grade, second grade, and third grade classroom.
(Interactive Notebook piece from RL2.3 and RL3.3)
Interactive notebooks are a great activity to use during small group, centers, or guided reading. You can use the flip flap pieces for a chapter in a book, a picture book, or a short passage.


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Thanks for reading!
Grab your resources...

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Story-Elements-RL13-1787128


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Response-RL23-1787218https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Describing-Characters-RL33-2363560

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This blog post is the third in the blog series:  Exploring ELA. I hope it has given you new ideas and a guiding framework to teach these standards! 
http://www.firstgradenest.com/2016/02/exploring-ela-new-blog-series.html



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