1st Grade - Identifying Plot, Setting And Characters

Identifying plot, setting and characters
Identify and describe the elements of plot, setting, and characters in a story, as well as the story's beginning, middle, and ending.
The students will be able to identify the elements of a story. These elements includes the plot (what happens in the story), the setting (where the story takes place), and the characters (the people/animals in the story). The students will also be able to distinguish the beginning, middle, and ending of the story as well.

Sample Problems


What happened in this story?


Where did the story take place?


Who is/are the character(s) in the story?


What happened at the beginning of the story?


How did the story end?

Learning Tips


Every time you read with your child, you have an incredible opportunity to review and practice many first grade skills. You can easily discuss the different story elements each time you and your child are reading together. Ask your child to tell you about the setting. Where does the story take place? Discuss the character(s). Who are they? What are they doing? Why are they important to the story? What is the plot of the story? What happens? Is there a problem in the story? What is it? How is the problem solved? Who solved it? Also be sure to discuss the events in the story. What happens in the beginning, middle, and the ending?


To assist your child in learning the different story elements (plot, setting, characters) and the events in a story (beginning, middle, ending), adding a visual component along with discussion is always beneficial. You are going to break each story into shape parts (triangle-characters, setting. Problem; rectangle-events- first, next, and then; circle- finally/resolution). Each shape should also have a consistent color associated with it. Make the triangle green, the rectangle yellow, and the circle red. Make large construction paper shapes with the corresponding colors (green triangle, yellow rectangle, red circle).Introduce one shape per week (or take longer if needed). Start with the triangle. In each of the corners of the triangle write one of the words; characters, setting, problem. After reading a story with your child, discuss who the characters in the story were. On a separate piece of paper have a large triangle drawn in the middle of the paper. Trace the outline of the triangle with a green crayon. On the paper in the corresponding corner (matching the large green triangle that you used to discuss the story), ask your child to draw the characters in the story. Next discuss the setting and ask your child to draw the setting in the corresponding part of the triangle on their paper. Finally, discuss the wish or the problem in the story. What do the characters want or need to happen? Ask them to draw the problem in the corresponding corner of their triangle. The next day discuss the events (yellow rectangle). On a separate piece of paper draw a large rectangle. Trace the outline of the rectangle with a yellow crayon. On the left inside portion of the rectangle write the words first, next, and then. After reviewing the story with your child discuss the events. Have your child write a short statement to discuss what happens first, next, and then. They may also draw a picture off to the side to reinforce what happened in the story. The next day review the story again. Introduce the circle and discuss how the problem in the story was resolved. Inside your red circle you should have the word finally written. Discuss with your child how the story ended. On a separate piece of paper draw a large circle in the middle. Trace the outline of the circle with a red crayon. Have your child draw a picture of how the story ends. You can also use the construction paper shapes to review the different elements stories that you read together.


Settings Book: Review what a setting is with your child. It is where a story takes place. It can be indoors or outdoors. Have your child make a book of settings. They can get ideas from looking at storybooks, examining pictures, or movies. Have them complete one page for each setting. Encourage them to be as detailed as possible. The next time they go to write their own story they make use their settings book to help brainstorm ideas for where their story will take place.


A great activity to review the events in the story (beginning, middle, end), is to have your child play with sequencing cards. These cards can be purchased at an educational supply store or you can create your own. If you with to create your own you can use clip art or draw pictures. Some sample sequencing activities would be eating an apple, brushing your teeth, making your bed, wrapping a present, making a sandwich, etc. You can have your child color the pictures and cut and glue the pictures on poster board squares. The cards will last longer if you laminate them. When discussing the sequencing of events make sure to use the words first, next, then, finally (for four card sets); and beginning, middle, and end (for 3 card sets).


Card Sort: For this activity you will need to create cards for three different categories; characters, plot, setting. Find pictures of people, animals, and well known characters from stories. Cut out each picture and glue it onto a piece of construction paper. Next find pictures of places and settings. Glue these pictures onto separate pieces of construction paper. Next you will need to find pictures that show activities or a problem that is occurring. Glue these pictures onto separate pieces of construction paper. Mix up all of the picture cards and then have your child sort them into the three distinct groups of characters, settings, and plots/problems.

Extra Help Problems


What was the problem in the story?


The plot is what ______ in the story. (happened)


The setting is _______ the story takes place. (where)


The people or animals in the story are the ______? (characters)


A story has 3 parts. The ____, ____, and the _____. (beginning, middle, end)


What is the title of your favorite story? Describe the setting and draw a matching picture.


Who are the characters in your favorite story? Write their names and draw picture of each character.


What happens in your favorite story? Write 2 sentences to tell me the plot of this story.


Look at the 3 boxes below. In the first box draw what happens at the beginning of your favorite story. In the second box, draw what happens in the middle of your favorite story, and in the last box, draw what happens at the end of your favorite story.


Draw a picture of an outside setting.


Draw a picture of a possible problem in a story.


Name an inside setting. Draw a picture to match.


Write the name of your favorite character in a story. Next draw a picture of this character.


Work with a partner and make a list of possible settings for a story. Draw a picture of one of the settings on your list.


Look at the three pictures (whole apple, bitten apple, and core of apple). Cut the pictures out and glue them in the correct order of what happens first, next and last)


Look at the boxes below. Order the pictures according to what would happen first, next, then, and finally. (pictures of a boy or girl wrapping present- box on table, paper on box, bow on box, boy or girl giving wrapped present to party person)


Use the three boxes below to draw three pictures of what you do when you get up in the morning. The pictures should be in the order that you accomplish the activates. After you have drawn the pictures, write a sentence below each box that describes what you are doing.


Draw a picture of an ocean setting.


Put the following pictures (cut and glue) in the correct order. (Brushing teeth pictures- hold toothbrush, paste on toothbrush, brush teeth, rinse, put toothbrush and paste away.


Draw and write how to make a sandwich in three steps. (ex- get out the bread, meat, & cheese; spread mustard on the bread; put meat and cheese in between slices of bread and eat)


Look at the pictures below, color, cut, and glue the pictures in the correct order. (seed in ground, water and sun given to seed, sprout grows, sprout turns into flower)


Look at the six pictures below. Write an S next to a picture that shows a setting. Write a C next to a picture that has characters. Write a P next to the pictures that show the plot or problem in a story. (picture ideas- beach, mountains, boy, family, girl looking for something, broken bike)


Draw a picture of a jungle setting.


Draw a picture of possible characters for a jungle setting.


Write two sentences to describe the character(s) in the story _______.


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