Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Story Structure

Question: What is the structure of most stories?

Answer/Quote: “Most children’s stories have certain key elements in common: (1): major characters, (2) a setting (including both place and time, if time is important to the story), (3) a problem (most stories represent characters’ attempts to solve problems), (4), the main characters’ goal (usually to alleviate the problem), (5) attempts to achieve the goal (usually the story’s major events), and (6), a resolution (usually achieving the goal and solving the problem).”

Quote: “Identifying a story’s key elements and using them as a guide to asking comprehension questions about the story accomplishes four good things:…helps children develop a general framework for stories…. …gives them practice in identifying the main idea of a story, since the problem and its solution are usually the main idea…. Helps children focus on and remember a story’s sequence of events…. helps in identifying cause and effect. Events do not happen in random order, but one leads to or causes the next.” P. 113, 114.

Comment: Key to this framework is the problem. Identify the problem and you identify the main idea of the story. I don’t remember much emphasis on the problem in discussing stories in my teachers’ classes. They seemed to concentrate on the characters, setting and plot. I never thought of the plot as the problem. For what it’s worth. RayS.

Title: “Map a Story’s Framework.” EF Searls. Reading Teacher (October 1987), 113-116.

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