Understanding the Elements of Fiction

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Grade Level
Middle School
Length of Time
1 hour

This is a lesson plan on the elements of fiction. Students will have a study sheet and a worksheet to do independently.


Students will learn:
Literary terms in fiction
Understand stories

Materials Needed

Study Sheet I have included in this lesson
Worksheet I have included in this lesson
Pencils and Erasers or Pens and whiteouts


First, you will copy the study sheet and worksheet that I have included in this lesson so that each student will have a copy of each one.

Then, you will explain the different terms included in this lesson:

Themes, settings, characters, plots, dialogue, narration, flashback, clues, climax, and resolution.

Study Sheet on the Elements of Fiction

Themes: The main idea of the story or book. It is what the author wants to reveal to readers.

Settings: Where the the story takes place. A setting can be anywhere the author chooses.

Characters: The characters are the people who experience some kind of problem in the story. In mysteries, there are protagonists, suspects, and a villain. Protagonists are the main characters. Suspects are the people who might have committed the crime. Villains are the ones who committed the crime.

Plots: The plot is the structure of the story.

Dialogue: Characters speak to each other through dialogue. Authors also reveal certain information about the characters through dialogue.

Narration: Narration is the person telling the story. Authors usually write stories in first person point of view or third person point of view.

Flashback: When an author wants to reveal something that happened in the past, he/she uses flashback. The character will remember something that happened to him/her in the past.

Clues: Authors plant clues throughout the plot (in mysteries) to help readers solve the mystery. However, authors use false clues, which are red herrings, to throw readers off guard. They want readers to think something will happen a certain way, but it leads to a dead end. This builds suspense.

Climax: The climax is the most intriguing part of the story (mysteries). The protagonist has to make a decision in his/her life as to which way he/she wants to go.

Resolution: The protagonist has made a decision and the circumstances he/she faced have been resolved.

Worksheet for Elements of Fiction

Directions: Write the definition of each term.

1. Plots -

2. Climax -

3. Dialogue -

4. Characters -

5. Resolution -

6. Clues -

7. Themes -

8. Narration -

9. Flashback -

10. Settings - Part Two - Write the answer to each question.

1. What are red herrings? 2. What technique does a writer use when he wants to reveal something in the past? 3. What builds suspense in mysteries? 4. Who are the protagonists? 5. Who are the suspects? 6. Who are the villains? 7. What type of genre do you have protagonists, suspects, or villains?

8. What element tells you why the author wrote the story?

9. How do authors reveal their characters? 10. When do the protagonists make a decision in their life?


100 to 90 = A

89 to 80 = B

79 to 70 = C

69 to 60 = D

Below 60 = F

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