Literary Elements Teaching Resources

If you're teaching literary elements this school year, chances are pretty good that you're on the hunt for ways to get students excited about tone, narration, plot, and a host of other elements to writing a great story. But how do you engage elementary students about character traits and make plot development as exciting as recess? The ELA teachers on the Teach Starter team have done just that with a collection of printable worksheets and digital activities built around this core reading standard. Explore their guide to learn more about the various literary elements and how to bring them to life in your classroom! Is this your first year teaching this sector of ELA? Or the first year in a while? Our teacher team has put together a quick refresher to get you ready to rock and roll in the classroom! 

What Are Literary Elements?

First thing's first: let's talk about the definition. Literary elements are the basic components of writing by which the author relates the story to the reader. Without them, the narrative falls apart! Sometimes referred to as narrative elements, these elements give a piece of writing structure and help the author convey information to the reader. On the reading side, literary elements are also key to breaking down a story to better understand what the author is trying to say.

What Are Examples of Literary Elements?

There are 10 main examples of literary elements that students will encounter in narrative texts:
  • Setting — This element is crucial for developing a story as it provides the time in which the story takes place as well as where it takes place. Setting helps ground the story.
  • Plot — This is the way a story unfolds — essentially a pattern for the text.
  • Conflict — Conflict helps move a plot forward as it offers the reader a climax to move toward as they read.
  • Characterization — This element of writing covers the way characters are developed within a story.
  • Point of view — Also called narration, this element is the perspective from which a story is told such as first person or third person.
  • Tone — The tone of a story can be boiled down to the author's attitude about the subject of the story.
  • Genre — Genre covers the type of story written such as realistic fiction, science fiction, or even magical realism.
  • Figurative language — Similes, metaphors, and onomatopoeia are just some examples of the figurative language students encounter in a text.
32 of 55 teaching resources for those 'aha' moments