Inside: These videos will help you teach the story elements of fiction to your 3rd graders in a fun and engaging way.
Starting your lesson with an engaging video is like getting pumped up for a run or workout with Jock Jams blaring in your car stereo.
It takes you from a sleep-deprived zombie sipping your coffee at 4:00 am to an annoyingly peppy “morning person” ready for anything your workout throws at you. Trust me; it works – My husband used to insist on waking us up this way as we headed to the gym in the mornings. Thankfully, our schedule now allows for a later wake-up time.
Just like those Jock Jams woke me up and got me in the right headspace for a workout, a fun video will engage your students and get them excited for the lesson.
I like to start my lesson with this short video clip of Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Hart on a roller coaster. It gets the kids excited immediately because a lot of them recognize at least one of these stars. And it builds some background knowledge to help them understand my plot structure roller coaster analogy.
Then I jump into my lesson by comparing the plot structure to a roller coaster. You can read more here about how I teach plot to 3rd graders and get my 5-day plot unit here.
Below are some of my favorite videos for teaching the story elements of fiction and the plot structure.
Videos on Story Elements
1. The Elements of a Story (Khan Academy)
This video explains the story elements of fiction using a fresh new take on The Three Little Pigs. The use of the familiar story helps students grasp the concept.
2. Elements of a Story Rap
This rap is a fun explanation of the story elements that helps students understand the plot structure.
4. Plot Review
This video uses the adorable Pixar Short Lifted to review the plot structure. Your students are sure to love the video and you will love that the plot diagram is explaining the structure as the video progresses.
5. Plot Diagram
This story elements video explains the plot structure with The Lion King. It is an older movie, so you may want to see if your kids have seen it before you make plans to watch this with them.
6. Plot Diagram using Pixar’s Mike’s New Car
This fun video pairs the Pixar Short Mike’s New Car with an explanation of the plot diagram.
7. The Importance of Setting in a Story
I love this video for helping students understand the influence of the setting on the story. So often, they stop at just identifying the setting. This is a fun way to help them dig a little deeper.
Short Videos for Teaching the Story Elements of Fiction
The following videos are great for modeling and practicing identifying the story elements of fiction. Be sure to put the video on full screen if you plan to show them to your students on my website so you don’t accidentally give away the answers.
1. Plot Structure – Modeling & Practice
This is a two-part video. The first half models identifying the story elements of the Pixar Short For the Birds. The second half is for practice with the short film Presto.
2. The Egyptian Pyramids
Exposition – An archaeologist and his camel are at a dig in Cairo. He is about to discover the secret of the Egyptian Pyramids.
Conflict – The camel has shut the man inside the pyramid.
Rising Action – The camel is changing the faces of the pyramid as it chews the “remote.”
Climax – The pyramid lowers back into the ground with the man still inside it.
Resolution – A brick opens in the pyramid and the man is ejected.
Conclusion – The man and the camel stare at the pyramid together in wonderment.
3. Snack Attack
Exposition – A little old lady wants to eat her cookies at a train station.
Conflict – She gets very angry when a young man sits next to her and starts to eat her cookies.
Rising Action – The two keep pulling the cookies away from each other and the young man continues to eat her snack. She gets very angry and makes a show of crumbling the last half cookie in front of him before getting on the train.
Climax – She sees the cookie package in her purse.
Resolution – She realizes how kind he was in sharing and allowing her to eat his cookies.
Conclusion – The young man throws his trash away and leaves.
Looking for Plot Structure Activities? Check These Out:
Plot Structure Interactive Notebook Pages
Need help getting your students to identify the plot’s main events and explain the influence of the setting on the plot? These plot structure interactive notebook pages are just what you’re looking for.
These plot interactive pages are designed to help students visualize a more realistic shape of the plot structure so they can better understand how the main plot points fit together to develop the plot.
The setting interactive pages not only help students understand that the setting is the place, time, and environment of the story but also guide them in understanding the influence of the setting on the plot.
This notebook doesn’t just give you interactive pages to use with your students. It also gives you tools to help you plan a fun, engaging unit.
Plot Structure 5-Day Unit for Use with Kat Kong by Dav Pilkey
The whole week is done for you!
- 5 Days of Reading Lessons Centered Around Kat Kong by Dav Pilkey
- Reading Assessment
- 5 Days of Vocabulary Lessons (Word Taken from Kat Kong by Dav Pilkey)
- Vocabulary Assessment
- Read Aloud Resources – Including a fun PowerPoint Introduction to Kat Kong, thinking stems, & a book list
- 5 Days of Grammar Lesson – Using the Mentor Sentence framework
- Grammar Assessment
- 5 Response to Text Questions/Prompts
- 5 Writing Station Prompts