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Teaching Events in a Story: Unleashing the Power of Story Elements

Introduction: Are you a teacher searching for creative strategies to teach story events in your elementary classroom? Look no further! In this article, I'll share valuable tips and tricks to engage your students in understanding...

Introduction: Are you a teacher searching for creative strategies to teach story events in your elementary classroom? Look no further! In this article, I'll share valuable tips and tricks to engage your students in understanding and analyzing story events. From identifying major events to exploring plot structure and character reactions, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the tools you need to make learning exciting and effective.

The Importance of Teaching Events

Events are the heartbeat of every story. They drive the plot, shape the characters, and captivate the reader. By teaching events, you empower your students to unlock the secrets of storytelling and develop their reading comprehension skills. Whether you're a kindergarten teacher introducing basic events or a fourth-grade educator delving into advanced plot stages, this article has got you covered.

Stock Up On Mentor Texts:

To effectively teach events, mentor texts are your secret weapon. Choose stories that vividly illustrate clear events and follow a standard plot diagram. These texts will serve as valuable examples, enabling your students to grasp the different types of events they can expect in a story. Check out some recommended mentor texts like "New Shoes," "Freedom Song," "Henry's Freedom Box," "Mr. Peabody's Apple," "The Hungry Coat," and "Strega Nona."

Teaching Events Step by Step

Start with Simple Identification:

When initiating your students into the world of events, it's crucial to start with the basics. Teach them what events are and guide their attention towards the three parts of a story: the beginning, the middle, and the end. For younger students, you can use simple picture stories where they describe what happens at each stage. As they progress, introduce short stories and story paragraphs, emphasizing the importance of events in each section.

Introduce the Concept of Problems:

In second and third grades, focus on how characters respond to events and how their actions contribute to the overall story. To facilitate this, explore the concept of problems and solutions. Begin by revisiting previously read stories and discussing the problems faced by the characters and how they were resolved. Encourage students to identify problems and solutions and create an anchor chart to capture their insights.

Connecting Events to Character Feelings and Actions:

Third and fourth-grade students are ready to delve deeper into events by exploring the connection between events and character actions, feelings, and emotions. Provide them with graphic organizers as they read independently or with partners, allowing them to analyze the relationship between characters and events. Expand their understanding of events by focusing on the problem at the beginning of a story and tracing how subsequent events are connected to that problem. This will help them identify major events and understand story structure.

Diving Deep into Plot Stages:

For fourth-grade students, it's time to tackle story structure. Teach them about the different elements of story/plot structure, such as the introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Use anchor charts or plot component cards to introduce these concepts. Apply their learning using mentor texts or previously read novels. Encourage continual practice through mini-lessons, small-group instruction, and engaging student activities.

Taking Events to the Digital World

Try a Digital Events Activity:

Incorporate digital tools to make learning events even more exciting. Consider using digital story elements sets that feature activities focusing on events. From identifying the beginning, middle, and ending events to exploring character challenges and responses, these ready-made Google Slides and Seesaw resources will engage and educate your students.

Free Activity and Complete Units:

To get started, why not try a FREE activity? You can also explore complete resources dedicated to teaching events and other story elements. These comprehensive units include lessons, graphic organizers, comprehension passages, task cards, interactive notebook elements, and assessments. Click on your grade level to discover more.


By teaching events, you empower your students to become skilled storytellers and critical readers. Armed with a variety of strategies and resources, you can guide them through the fascinating world of story elements. Remember, mentor texts, engaging activities, and a focus on character reactions and plot structure are key to mastering this essential skill. Get ready to inspire and ignite your students' love for reading and storytelling!

Explore More ELA Blog Posts:

If you're hungry for more ELA insights, check out these related blog posts:

  • Story Elements
  • Story Structure
  • Setting
  • Character Study

And don't forget to watch our YouTube video on all things story elements. Thank you for joining us on this captivating journey through the world of teaching events in a story!