Lesson Plan

“Improv”ing a Good Story - Developed by the Red Line EdTech Gurus PLN

Students will develop an understanding of story elements (theme, setting, number of characters, conflict and plot) by drawing on their previous knowledge of fairy tales.
Katie L.
Media specialist/librarian
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

From this activity students will be able to:

work collaboratively in small groups

recognize and identify story elements (setting, characters, conflict, theme, plot)

demonstrate understanding of the story triangle elements by creating a collaborative narrative

English Language Arts
Grades 2 – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Exploring

Ask your students a  hypothetical question such as, “What if the shoe didn’t fit Cinderella?” or “What if Goldilocks didn’t run into the 3 bears?”.  In a popcorn-style format, have students throw out potential plot lines.

Student Instructions

Students will respond to teachers questions verbally and, perhaps, even with actions or movements - improv style

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Conversing

Introduce the concept of the plot triangle so students  understand how to create a triangle ( rising action, climax, falling action, and  conclusion) for their story..  Divide students into 4 collaborative groups which will discuss and decide collaboratively what their group will contribute to the development of the story that they will be writing in class.

Each of the 4 small collaborative groups will have to generate and submit one choice for each of the following story elements:  theme, setting, number of characters, conflict and plot.

Student Instructions

Working with your collaborative group, discuss and decide on your group’s best  ideas for the story elements to be used in our class story.  When all groups have submitted their ideas for each of the story elements (theme, setting, number of characters, conflict and plot), each student  will then use their plicker card  to vote on which option he/she would like best to construct the story that the whole class will work on constructing.

The choices with the most votes will be the elements the entire class will use for their narrative.

3 Guided Practice

Teacher needs to go to www.plickers.com and sign up for an account (This will give teacher access to creating questions and printing out Plicker cards for student use).  Plicker cards  need to be printed,  assigned to students, and distributed.  The Plicker cards will be used by the students to vote on their choices of story elements..(  You may choose to  laminate them and assign numbers to students; the Plicker cards can then be used again and again for multiple purposes)


During the small groups’ discussions, create options for each story element to be used for poll with students who will share their choice via Plickers.(on web or with Plickers app)

  Teacher will use their iPad or phone (Android or iPhone) to scan student response cards .(Students  will be voting on the element choices  contributed by each small group).

Use Plickers( app or web) and a projector (interactive whiteboard, Apple TV, reflector app, etc…)  to display student responses  - will show how class has voted on the elements of the story.  If a projector is not available, teacher should write the results of the poll on the board so that students will know which option they will use for their writing assignment.

Student Instructions

When your group has come to a consensus on your contribution to each of the story elements, inform your teacher so that he/she can input that information into the interactive poll.

When all groups have contributed to the various polls, use your individual Plicker card to vote on your favorite selection for each of the story elements.  The results and “winner” for each story element will be displayed for you so that you can utilize that information for your writing project.

4 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

Working in your collaborative groups, create an original story using the new elements that were selected from the poll.

Student Instructions

Each collaborative group member should contribute to writing their group’s story using the story elements selected.  Students may add pictures or artwork to their story to enhance their finished project.

5 Wrap-Up

Free to try, Paid

Publish the stories to a blog (Edublog, Kidblog)  or class LMS page.

Student Instructions

Read and comment on another groups’ writing assignment.  How is their story different than yours?  How is their story the same?  What was your favorite part of their story?