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Ch 3: Literary Elements: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3

About This Chapter

Help your students understand the process of analyzing plot, characters, setting and rhetorical devices with these video and text lessons supporting the Common Core standards for 7th grade English language literature. The section on classroom uses contains ideas on how to implement these lessons in your class.

Standard: Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot). (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.3)

About This Chapter

After watching the videos in this chapter your 7th grade students should be able to pick apart and analyze the constituent elements in various literary texts. They may have a greater understanding of how these elements have been used by American novelists, authors, and playwrights in particular. Topics described in this chapter explain:

  • Definitions and how to analyze characters, plot, and setting
  • Literary elements in drama, short stories, and fiction
  • Analyzing American dramas
  • Rhetorical devices
  • Ways setting shapes plot and characters
  • Interplay between elements in a story

As students study these topics they can demonstrate greater capacity for literary analysis in written and verbal responses to a text. They will be able to accurately describe how an author used these elements and devices to guide the story and the reader toward a specific idea and/or feeling.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Here are some ideas on how to use these videos alongside the lessons you give in your classroom.

Character change

First complete the lessons on analyzing characters, analyzing short stories, and how story elements interact as a class. Have students read a short story by an American author with a single protagonist and an antagonist as homework. Discuss the characters in the story the following day in class, analyzing them using the comprehend, interpret, and draw conclusions model described in the first video. Then discuss how the story might be different if the character roles were reversed or if key characteristics (e.g. age, gender, economic situation, etc.) were changed.

Rhetorical practice

As homework, have students complete the lesson on rhetorical devices and then craft an argument for something they need or desire using one or more of the devices described. The device should be appropriate to the intended audience and delivery medium. Have the students try their argument out and journal about how it was received and what the results were.

Storyboard development

After watching the videos on plot, have students read a common fable and create a storyboard of the elements of the story's plot (i.e. exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution). They should have at least one panel per element. Discuss the plot as a class. Did all of the students arrive at the same basic conclusions regarding the plot or did some focus on different elements?

10 Lessons in Chapter 3: Literary Elements: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How to Analyze Characters in Literature: Explanation and Examples

1. How to Analyze Characters in Literature: Explanation and Examples

In this lesson, we will learn to analyze characters in literature by comprehending, interpreting and drawing conclusions about each character. We will look at a story to practice analyzing characters.

What is Plot? - Examples & Definition

2. What is Plot? - Examples & Definition

Plot is a literary term that refers to how narrative points are arranged to make a story understandable to the reader or observer. This lesson will look at the definition of plot, as well as examples of plot from well-known stories.

How to Analyze Plot: Steps and Examples

3. How to Analyze Plot: Steps and Examples

In this lesson, we will discuss how to analyze a plot in three basic steps. We will take these three steps and break them down to understand how to analyze a plot by analyzing a fable.

Plot Techniques in American Fiction: Definition and Examples

4. Plot Techniques in American Fiction: Definition and Examples

A novel's plot involves more than just what happens in the story. Authors employ a number of techniques, including foreshadowing, red herrings, backstory, and B-plots to enrich their stories.

Analyzing the American Short Story: Techniques and Examples

5. Analyzing the American Short Story: Techniques and Examples

Identifying the tone, setting, and mood in a short story can help you analyze that story. In this lesson, we'll think about those literary features in the context of a few well-known American short stories.

Setting in Literature: Definition, Importance & Examples

6. Setting in Literature: Definition, Importance & Examples

In this lesson, you'll review the important elements of a story. In particular, you'll learn about the components of the setting and its importance within the plot.

Elements of Drama: Characters, Plot, Setting & Symbolism

7. Elements of Drama: Characters, Plot, Setting & Symbolism

Have you ever wondered how actors in a play can convey a story without the audience reading the script? Watch and learn how playwrights use dramatic elements to tell a story on the stage.

Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays

8. Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays

Plays are often developed with the use of a number of literary techniques. This lesson explores the use of symbolism, motifs, flashbacks, and monologues in American drama.

How Setting Shapes the Characters & Plot

9. How Setting Shapes the Characters & Plot

You have probably learned the definition of setting in literature, but do you know how important it can be to a story? This lesson describes how a setting can influence the plot, the tone, the theme, and the characters.

How Story Elements Interact & Shape One Another

10. How Story Elements Interact & Shape One Another

Story elements are not just individual parts of a story that function on their own. In this lesson, we will explore the basic elements of a story and how they interact and shape one another to affect the story.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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