Spotlight on Strategies

Story Elements

Why is it important for kindergarten students to identify the characters, settings and main events of stories?

It is important for kindergarten students to understand the importance of the different story elements so they can apply that knowledge when they are reading on their own. It is gives students better comprehension of the story. Providing activities and strategies on how to identify these elements are very beneficial for students.

Teacher Vision states that, "Discerning the way reading material is organized is important to comprehension. According to Dickson, et al. (1998), teaching narrative text organization, using characters, a setting, problems, solutions to the problems, and so on, gives students a frame of reference for processing and storing information. Irvin (1998) identifies "awareness of text structures" as an important metacognitive skill."

Example: Humpty Dumpty and The Gingerbread Man

Read aloud and watch Humpty Dumpty to students here. On chart paper Identify the main character of the rhyme and the setting. Have students describe Humpty Dumpty and draw an illustration of Humpty and the setting. Collaboratively, complete sequencing activity about Humpty. Sequencing Humpty Dumpty
Talk about the importance of each event in the rhyme, the setting, and the character.

Read aloud the story, "The Gingerbread man". Do a think aloud throughout the story by stopping throughout the story at important events and modeling your thinking. Complete an online story map about the character, setting and events at readwritethink. You can purchase printables retelling activities and story elements here.


Read another text like, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" and have students identify the important story elements. Click here for additional video links for reviewing/introducing the story elements. Students can create their own story online to share with the class here.


Standard - CC.1.3.K.C

With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.