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Five Elements of a Story Video & Lesson Plan

fivethings-imageCheck out the lyrics and more.

Our “Five Things” video has been a teacher and student favorite since its debut. And now we’ve got a complete lesson and worksheets to accompany it! This lesson plan will get your students fluent with the five elements of a short story: plot, character, conflict, theme and setting. “Yes these are the five things…”

Elements of a Story Lesson Plan

Lesson Objective: Define and identify the five elements of a story. Analyze a story to determine its elements.

Plot1. Watch the free Flocabulary song, “Five Things.” When you finish the song, ask students to recall the five elements of a story.


2. Hand out the Five Elements of a Story worksheet. Ask students to write down the definition of each element to the best of their memory. Explain that you will show the video again soon for students to update or fill in any definitions.

Conflict3. Show the video again. Before you begin, ask student to record in their chart the definitions and a few examples of each from the song while they are watching. You may wish to pause the video after each element to give students time to write.

Theme4. Hold a discussion of the five elements, where students clarify definitions. Ask students to brainstorm examples of each element from their previous reading and record them in the “Your Examples” column.

Setting5. Read a short story of your choosing as a class. Any story–from a children’s book to a New Yorker piece–will work. You can find some classic short stories here. Using the second worksheet, record the five elements in that story.

Optional Extension Activity: Have students use the second worksheet to plan out an original story, and then write it! Your students can even write their story in rhyme with our Writing Academic Rhymes lesson plan.

What are you favorite short stories? 

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This Post Has 14 Comments

    1. “Five Things” works well for elementary, middle and high school–it can be used to introduce concepts in the younger grades and review them in the higher ones.

  1. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! My teacher showed it to us several times this year, and it really started us off with a love of literature.

  2. This video is awesome since im only in 7th grade it tells me all about the five elements of a story 2 thumbs up

  3. Thank you for this video. I have shown it to two groups of 4th graders today and they have LOVED it. They both wanted to watch it multiple times, and the second group was rapping the chorus along with the video before they’d watched it through once. After class, several kids asked me for the website so they could watch it at home. Me? I’m thrilled–in less than 15 minutes they learned all 5 story elements!

  4. this is a great video! I shared it with my department and have advocated its use…Goodness is in the building!

  5. This video is awesome and so grate !!!!! I am in seventh grade but my main language is french. I showed it to my teacher, and she said that it’s interesting and she show it too to all my class and zi got a bonus !!!!!

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