From My Classroom To Yours

Elements of a Short Story
Lesson Plan

To model the elements of a short story we use The Storm by Kathy Henderson.


30 minutes


Introduce elements of a short story. Model use of graphic organizer "story map" to hold their thinking.


  • A copy of The Storm by Kathy Henderson (find at local library)
  • Student set of Story Map (link to right)


Warm Up
What makes a story a good story? What things are always included in a good story?

Overhead Notes
Elements of Short Story
Setting - time and place of action in a story. Includes all details: year, time of day, weather. Serves as a backdrop where the characters interact.

Character(s) - a person or animal that takes part in the action of the story.

Problem (sometimes called conflict) - struggle between opposing forces which causes action in a story. Two types -

external: between character and outside world,
internal: character struggles with welfare (to make a decision, take action, overcome a feeling)

Chain of Events - action of story that leads characters to a solution.

Solution (sometimes called resolution)- outcome of problem in the story. How did things work out?

Work Period

  1. Students draw a line under notes.
  2. Teacher reads aloud the short story, The Storm, to the class.
  3. Students listen and identify the parts of a short story. Write them down on paper.
  4. Students share answers with class. Teacher completes story map on overhead along with students.
  5. Students correct any mistakes they have made and ask questions.


Find a short story. They can research via family, friends, internet, other teachers, or books. Identify the elements by creating a story map on own paper.

Return from Elements of a Short Story to Home

Resources for this Lesson

Story Map Organizer

The Storm Answer Key

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