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Story Structure Activities

Story Structure Lesson – A slide show presentation on story structure.  This lesson uses examples from an accompanying story – “When Gertrude Grew Great.” Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 4-8
Story Structure Lesson | PowerPoint
When Gertrude Grew Great | RTF
When Gertrude Grew Great | PDF
When Gertrude Grew Great | Preview

Story Structure Lesson 2 – An animated slideshow lesson explaining the parts of a story and a common way in which they are structured.  This is a revision of the lesson is used last year.  It includes a couple more terms and a new story that students should read prior to learning lesson. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5-9
Story Structure Lesson 2 | PowerPoint
“The Breakaway” | RTF
“The Breakaway” | PDF
“The Breakaway” | Preview

Story Structure Quiz 1 | “Unto Others” – Students read a short story about acceptance and redemption and answer multiple choice questions about the structure of the story. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5-9
Story Structure Quiz | RTF
Story Structure Quiz | PDF
Story Structure Quiz | Preview
View Answers

Story Structure Quiz 2 | “Blood is Thicker” – Two sisters who are complete opposites must learn to work together to achieve their goals. Students read the short story and answer multiple choice questions about the structure of the story. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 6-10
Story Structure Quiz 2 – “Blood is Thicker” | RTF
Story Structure Quiz 2 – “Blood is Thicker” | PDF
Story Structure Quiz 2 – “Blood is Thicker” | Preview
View Answers

Story Structure Quiz 3 – “Time Warriors” – Alex is dismayed when his mother forces him to take his little brother with him to a friend’s house. He learns to appreciate him by the end of the story. Students read the short story and complete multiple choice questions about the structure of the narrative. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 3-7
Story Structure Quiz 3 – “Time Warriors” | RTF
Story Structure Quiz 3 – “Time Warriors” | PDF
Story Structure Quiz 3 – “Time Warriors” | Preview
View Answers

Illustrate Elements of Fiction – Students will define terms related to the elements of fiction (setting, plot, rising action, etc.), create an example, and then illustrate the examples.
Illustrate Elements of Fiction | RTF
Illustrate Elements of Fiction | PDF
Illustrate Elements of Fiction | Preview

Story Structure Handout – Here’s a nice overview of narrative structure for students.  Includes information about exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Story Structure Handout | RTF
Story Structure Handout | PDF
Story Structure Handout | Preview

Story Structure Graphic Organizer – Here’s a blank graphic organizer of Freytag’s pyramid.  Identify the rising action, climax, and falling action of any story.
Story Structure Graphic Organizer | RTF
Story Structure Graphic Organizer | PDF
Story Structure Graphic Organizer | Preview

Story Structure Graphic Organizer 2 – Here’s another blank graphic organizer of a story structure pyramid.  Use with the story of your choice.  Students identify the rising action, climax, and falling action of any story.
Story Structure Graphic Organizer 2 | RTF
Story Structure Graphic Organizer 2 | PDF
Story Structure Graphic Organizer 2 | Preview

Common Core State Standards Related to Story Structure

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 – Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

Expand to View All Common Core State Standards Related to Story Structure
ELA Standards: Literature

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.5 – Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.5 – Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5 – Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5 – Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5 – Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5 – Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.5 – Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5 – Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5 – Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

View Source
Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards


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  1. Sonia M

     /  October 16, 2018

    This is such a wonderful source of information and resources. Thank you!

  2. Holla

     /  May 10, 2018

    Thank you so much!!!
    I got to prepare for my English test with this!!!
    Helped a lot!

  3. Gina Sands

     /  September 11, 2014

    Mr. Morton,

    I applaud the energy, effort, and expertise that you have put into all of your resources. Over the past couple of years, I have found them to be an incredibly valuable and often times humorous tool. Love your wit and talent!

    Gina Sands

  4. Veronica

     /  September 5, 2013

    I LOVE THIS SITE!! I am a fourth year teacher, but first year language arts and I love the resources! Common Core has made it difficult because I have no materials but this site is great!

  5. Alberta Dunbar

     /  August 22, 2013

    Thank you, thank you!!! I would love to join your team. You have just what I need to help my students. I love your website. It gave me so much help. How may I get other lesson from your site. Thank you once again!!!!!!!!!!

    • Use the navigation bar along the top of the site to browse, or use the search boxes to look for material covering specific skills. Best wishes!

  6. Odessa Aleln

     /  April 8, 2013

    I love your website. Thank you so much for the help. Awesome….Awesome.

  7. Laura Diaz

     /  March 6, 2013

    This website is fantastic for ESL! It has a lot of worksheets by different levels, and the story elements exercises are great for my students.

  8. J. Rodgers

     /  February 12, 2013

    This is one of the best websites I have found. I really appreciate the effort and hard work that must have gone into creating this site. KUDOS!!

  9. Agatha

     /  December 11, 2012

    Keep those worksheets, graphic organizers, and quiz with answer key comingd! Great for level 1 and 2 high school students. I’m so encouraged to keep teaching it!

  10. Pamela

     /  December 3, 2012

    Thank you for the richness of your website. Being new to fifth grade, your site has helped to bring the joy back into teaching!

  11. Georgiana

     /  November 30, 2012

    Mr. Morton, thank you for making my life as a teacher of literature soooo easy!

  12. Lisa

     /  November 10, 2012

    I stumbled upon your site one night when I couldn’t sleep. After a few clicks, I couldn’t have gone back to bed if I’d wanted to! I have 6th and 8th grade reading and language arts resource classes. It is hard to find quality material to which my kiddos can relate. Imagine my excitement when I found your “stuff”!! Thank you for your hard work- you totally just made my (& my students’) year.

  13. Michele

     /  October 25, 2012

    Great site! Very helpful and saved me a ton of time!

  14. Kristen

     /  October 14, 2012

    Your website helps me so much! I just realized you are teaching in Illinois also! That must be why everything works so well with what I am doing. 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  15. I found your site to be both informative and extremely useful when working with reading strategies. Great website!!!

  16. Brittany

     /  September 25, 2012

    I love your website! I found it by accident a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for some main idea resources. I laid down my textbook this year and I am pulling resources from many different places. This website has helped me so much. I have shared with all of my co-workers, they love it too! I’ve been downloading and printing and filling my binder with your stuff.

  17. Bre

     /  September 13, 2012

    Excellent site! I am so excited to use all of the great resources..powerpoints, handouts, quizzes, etc..for all of my reading skills!!!

  18. Dorathy W

     /  August 26, 2012

    Thank you! I’ve used your materials with struggling students and reluctant readers with great success. I appreciate all you’ve done and that you’ve added “stuff” since last time I visited.

  19. Robin Smith

     /  June 28, 2012

    The worksheets with questions are great. I am teaching 8th grade ELA in summer school and the exercises are just right for homework and classwork.

  20. Karen

     /  April 10, 2012

    You have an obvious passion for teaching and have worked very hard on your units. I have used all of your materials and shared them with fellow teachers. Our assessments are this week and next week and I’m feeling more confident about test scores this year based on what you have allowed me to use here. Does your state test persuasive techniques and have you considered adding any of your material here? Thank you so much for sharing your brain!

    • Our state does not, currently, although our assessment is being revised for Common Core State Standards, so maybe soon. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment!

  21. This is a wonderful site. It does provide a great deal in terms of delivery instructions. This is awesome. I would appreciate if you all can have the answers to all of the worksheets.
    I just realized that some do have some dont.
    Thank you very much.

  22. I love, love, love this website! I wish I found it earlier! But it will still work great now while we are reviewing for the state tests. Fast, short and to the point.

  23. I am an interventionist in a school that is a failing school trying to help lift them up. I find your worksheet are thought provoking and encourages thinking skills for the students that I work with.

  24. Great for a foreign English mentor like me. Thanks for these add-ups. until then

  25. Jayne

     /  November 28, 2011

    These are wonderful tools, but I’m wondering if they are geared to a particular age group. I teach 4th grade, and some of the articles seem higher. Is there a way to see the level? Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Mr. Morton

       /  December 1, 2011

      I teach 7th and 8th grade students, so that’s generally the group that I target, but I recommend that you download the RTF files and modify challenging vocabulary to adapt these to your class. I’d like to level this site one day.

  26. C. Becker

     /  November 27, 2011

    This is a super web site with excellent tools to teach the nuts and bolts of literature. Will you post some more examples. My students love doing these.

  27. I was so happy that your site offered many lessons, examples, worksheets and answer keys for the objective on Theme for Reading. You guys did a wonderful job. Thank you.

    • Mr. Morton

       /  November 21, 2011

      I’d like to get more answer keys together. Maybe this winter break. 😀


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