Elements of a Short Story
OBJECTIVES Identify elements of a short story
Define elements of a short story Demonstrate mastery of short story elements
KWL Chart What do you already KNOW about short stories or elements of a short story?
Exploring the Elements of a Short Story
Think about a story you’ve read that you really enjoy. What did you like about the story? What are some elements that are common to good stories?
What is a short story? Fictional Has a beginning, middle and end
Tells a single event/experience
KWL Chart What do you WANT to know about short stories or elements of a short story?
OVERVIEW Short stories often contain structural and character elements that should be familiar to you. These elements can be used as guides to help you think about the actions, themes, and contexts of the story.
Elements of a Short Story
Plot - exposition statement - rising action - conflict - climax - falling action - resolution Theme Setting Characters Point of view Characterization
The time and place in which the story or text happens.
SETTING The time and place in which the story or text happens. Place: where the action of the story is taking place? Time: When is the story taking place?
Theme The message, or lesson, that the author wants you to learn from the story. The author’s underlying meaning or main idea he/she is trying to convey.
THEME CONT.. Questions to ask yourself when searching for the theme-
What did the characters learn? How did the characters grow or change? Why did the characters act this way? Common topics for themes- Courage Honesty Doing the right thing Achievement Friendship Being yourself Can you think of any?
CHARACTERS The people (or actors) in the story.
Protagonist- The main character who is in the center of all major events happening in the story. Antagonist- The character that opposes of the main character.
CHARACTERIZATION The description of the personalities of the characters in the story and the way in which an author reveals their personalities.
Point of view How the narrator tell the story.
First person- The story is told by the protagonist or one of the characters who interacts closely with the protagonist. (I, Me, We, etc.) Second person- The narrator is telling the story to another character. Least common POV (You) Third person (He, She, They, Them) Omniscient- The author can narrate the story by moving from character to character, event to event, having free access to the thoughts, feelings, etc. Limited- The narrator tells the story through the thoughts a feelings of a single character. All other characters are presented only externally.
PLOT The sequence or order of events in a story. The plot includes:
Exposition Statement – An introduction that provides necessary details about the characters and setting. Rising Action –The part of the story that develops the problem, or conflict through a series of events that build interest or sequence. Conflict - Struggles or problems between opposing forces or characters. EXTERNAL INTERNAL
More PLOT Climax- The turning point of the story where the conflict or problem reaches the point of highest interest. Falling action - The action in the story after the climax is revealed that leads to the resolution Resolution - The conclusion to the story that reveals the final outcome or solution to the problem or conflict.
PLOT DIAGRAM Climax Rising Action Conflict Exposition Resolution
Falling Action Exposition Resolution
CONCLUSION Now that we have identified and defined the elements of a short story, let us use the elements to analyze a familiar fairytale. You may use your notes from the PowerPoint presentation or consult the newsletter handout, “Analyzing a Short Story.”
Bibliography Dinneen, K. Elements of the Short Story. Retrieved Jun , 2003, from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute: Five Elements of a Story. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003, Guevin, D. Short Story Elements. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003,
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