Writing Series Part 3- Story Elements

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It’s week three! Week three involves the next step of the writing process, the story elements, and hopefully your little learners are getting closer to writing a story!

Story Maps for Little Writers- Mrs. Jones Creation Station

Continue With Mentor Texts

I mentioned mentor texts in my last post about prewriting planning. I continue using mentor texts at this point in the writing process. With this step, we go deeper into the story elements. We take our prewriting planning and choose the characters and setting we want to use. But this time, we go in more depth with the plot.

This is not an easy task for new writers. This is why we pull out our mentor texts and talk more in depth about the plot. For your older writers, you can discuss more questions like “why do we have a problem? Who should work to solve it? Why is the problem solved in the story?” For your brand new writers, just cover the basics of beginning, middle and end and that the middle is where the problem happens.

Mentor texts are such a great addition to writing lessons for this reason. Young learners see that all writers must have these elements to make a good story.

Story Elements

This is where your writers’ stories start to take shape. With this story map, you’ll focus on the following story elements:

  • Characters- who is in the story?
  • Setting- where does the story take place?
  • Problem- what happens to the characters?
  • Solution- how do the characters solve the problem?

You will want to model this step thoroughly! The gradual release model is again a perfect way to get those hesitant writers writing.

When I get to this step, I like to story tell. Just like I would story tell to my kids when I put them to bed. I make up a silly, far-fetched story, but as I would story tell, I would fill out the map.

I encourage you to model very basic story for beginner writers. One or two characters, a simple setting and an easy to understand problem and solution is perfect. Establish differentiation in your classroom with your more advanced writers during Writer’s Workshop. But again, model more elaborate stories while they meet with you for a quick five to six minute mini lesson.

You’ll be so surprised what those little minds can think of if you give them time! Happy Writing!

You can get this Story Elements Map for FREE by clicking on the download button below!

Writing Series

Stay tuned for more ideas and resources that you can use during your Writer’s Workshop.  From mini-lessons to anchor charts you can find what you need to help your writers grow.

1- Anecdotal Notes

2- Story Prewriting

3- Story Elements Map

4- Story Progression Map 

5- Sensory Details Map and Printables

6- Publishing Rubric and Guide

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progress monitoring in the early elementary classroom for math, literacy and reading

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