Story Elements Related To Students' Development By Grade

Story Element
1-2 grade
3-4 grade
5-6 grade

Recognize the main character.

Identify characters' moods (happy, sad, angry, helping, mad ...).

Recognize that character's actions are related to their moods and personalities.

Identify personality traits of characters (good, bad, selfish, greedy, mean, shy, friendly, caring, cooperative, ...).

Recognize main character in a story.

Understand that the story is about the main character.

Understand that the story's creator often uses feelings to describe the characters and make a more interesting story.


Recognize that characters may change from the beginning to the end of a story.

Recognize characters' development may or may not be important for the story.

Identify the feelings that characters are described as havin.g


Recognize that characters are able to have all the characteristics a human can have and more.

Recognize that characters may be created with any characteristic that a creator chooses weather it is real or imaginary.

Recognizes that characters are developed by their actions, speech, appearance, comments, and other characters' actions and the author's choice of words.

Recognize and sympathize or empathize with the plight of the character.

Recognize that characters usually change within the plot of the story.

Recognize implied thoughts and feelings related to the characters.

Can retell simple linear stories by chaining events.

Recognize the beginning, middle, and end of a story.

Recognize a problem and resolution within a story.

Recognize the climax as the most exciting part of a story.

Predict the outcome of a story using the clues provided by the creator.

Identify conflict and tension in a story.

Recognize that creators use a variety of strategies and patterns to make stories interesting.

Recognize that several conflicts can happen in a story and may or may not build toward the climax and resolution.

Recognize that many stories have conflict caused by a struggle between characters (a protagonist and antagonist).

Understand complicated plots.

Recognize stories within stories.

Recognize strategies that authors use to create suspense during the development of the plot.

Recognize that most plots follow a general pattern.

Recognize a variety of interactions or conflicts (person vs. person, person vs. self, person vs. society, person vs. nature...).


Can relate where the story happened.

Can tell the time as day or night, winter, summer, fall, or spring, holiday.

Identify where the story takes place.

Begin to understand that the selections of different kinds of settings are important for story and tone (it was a dark and stormy night).

Explain how the setting is or isn't important for the story and tone.

Describe how the story and characters are affected by the setting.

Recognize all stories have settings.

Recognize time can move steadily forward or jump forward or backward in leaps of time.

Recognize that settings can be used to create tone and develop plot.


Tell theme as a simple morale (It's good to help. Its not nice to be mean.).

Recognize that stories have a main idea.

Identify general explicit themes in some stories.

Begin to identify implicit themes in some stories.

Understand that the story is about the theme.

Recognize a variety of themes.

Recognize that a story may have multiple themes.

Understand implied themes.

Point of View

When asked who is telling the story will answer a character or creator (author, writer ...).

Recognize first person narration.

Recognize that the author isn't always the story teller or main character.

Recognize the omniscient (knowing everything) narrator.

Recognize all points of view.

Recognize that a point of view may change in a story.

Recognize that point of view can be used to assist the development of a style and tone.

Recognize word patterns and repeat ones they think are interesting.

Recognize style that is most concrete (rhyme, alliteration).

Recognize with a little more practice (assonance, consonance, rhythm).

Picture in their mind's eye, from reading or listening to imagery, images from real their life experience that relate to the author's description.

Recognize figures of speech (simile, metaphor, hyperbole, allusion).

Understand puns, word plays, and figures of speech.

Can recognize most kinds of style with samples or other kinds of assists.

Recognize symbols in literature.


Can look at picture books and describe the tone with regards to the illustrations (Happy, sad, stormy ...).

Recognize sad, happy, and other emotions that are in a story.

Describe how the creator described the characters and told a story.

Recognize humor

Describe how the tone relates to the story.

Read aloud with inflection that indicates an understanding of the creator's tone

Can recognize a wide variety of tones (absurd, parody, condescending, didactic ...).

Created in EDU 600 summer 2000 and refined summer 2003


Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©