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Module 23

ENGLISH
IDENTIFYING THE STORY ELEMENTS

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A DepEd-BEAM Distance Learning Program supported by the Australian Agency for International Development

To the Learner
Dear Learner,
Hello!
Did you have fun writing summaries of fiction stories in
the previous module?
Today, you will be reading stories as you identify their
basic elements.

Lets Learn
This
A short story is similar to your favorite dish. It needs the
best ingredients for you to enjoy its delectable taste.
This module will help you identify the elements of a short
story so that you can easily chew, digest, and savor the stories
that you will be reading.

Lets Try This


The elements of a short story are the setting, characters,
plot, point of view and theme.
Read the fable, The Hares and the Frog and then fill out
the story pyramid with the appropriate details that are asked
for.

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The Hares and the Frog


Adapted from Aesops Fables

The hares once gathered together and talked about


the unhappiness of their lot. Open as they were to dangers
on all sides, they lacked the strength and the courage to
hold their own. People, dogs, birds, and beasts of prey were
all their enemies. Rather than endure such bad treatment
any longer, they one and all decided to end their miserable
lives. Desperately, they rushed in as a body towards a
nearby pool of water, intending to drown themselves.
A number of frogs were sitting on the bank. When
they heard the noise of the hares, the frogs leaped into the
water and hid themselves in the depths.
Then one of the older hares cried out to his
companions, Stop, my friends, and take heart. Let us not
destroy ourselves, after all. See, here are creatures who are
afraid of us, and who must, therefore, be still more timid
than we ourselves are.
Beginnings in Literature, America Reads, Classic ed.
(Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, and Company, 1991)
-adapted from Phoenix World of Reading 6

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Setting
Time:
______________________________
Place
___________________________________
Characters
________________________________________
Plot: Conflict
_____________________________________________
Plot: Resolution
_________________________________________________
Plot: End
____________________________________________________
Point of view
__________________________________________________________
Theme

Adapted from: World of Reading 6

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Are you done? Were your answers like these?

Setting
Time:

daytime

______________________________
Place: Nearby pool of water
___________________________________
Characters: hares and frogs
________________________________________
Plot: Conflict - The hares decided to
drown themselves to end their
miserable lives
_______________________________________________
Plot: Resolution- An old hare stopped his
companions when he saw the frogs leaped
____________________________________________________
and hid in the water.
End:
The hares realized that there are more timid
creatures than them.
__________________________________________________________
Point of view: third person
____________________________________________________________
Theme - One should not give up when he is afraid. If not,
dont worry for there are more activities similar to this in the
succeeding pages.

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Lets Study This


Read the following and answer the questions below.

Ryle and Zyles Birthday


Birthdays are one of the most celebrated events in
our lives. On February 06, 2009, the twins, Ryle and
Zyle celebrated their first birthday at their
grandparents residence in Malalag, Davao del Sur.
Theyre the sons of my sister, May.
The childrens party made the toddlers happy.
They participated in various games prepared especially
for them.
A big lunch banquet was shared by about seventy
people. Everyone enjoyed the delicious food. Huge
cakes, given by the twins grandparents, were placed
on the buffet table to honor the celebrators.
It was truly a memorable affair. The guests went
home with balloons and some tokens.

1. Who are the characters of the story?


2. Where did the story happen?
When did it happen?
3. What are the events in the story?
4. Who is telling the story?
5. What is the story about?

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What are the elements of a short story?


The five (5) elements of a short story are character,
setting, plot, point of view and theme.
a. The characters are the people, or sometimes the animals,
that participate in the action of a short story. Characters
may be classified as major or minor, depending on their
role and significance in the building of the storys plot.
A character may be a protagonist or the hero in a short
story or an antagonist or the villain.
b. The setting refers to the time and place in which the
action of a story occurs. It is one of the major elements of
a short story.
When thinking about setting, you can use the following
questions.
1. When did the story take place?
- the time of day or year? the weather?
2. Where does the story take place?
- is it set indoors, outdoors, or both?
3. What sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations
are aroused by the setting?
4. Is the setting described in detail or is merely
suggested?
5. Do the events occur in one time and place?
6. What mood or feeling does the setting create?
7. What is the writers message? How does the setting
help communicate this message?
c. The plot refers to the actions and events that take place
in a story. Each event has a conflict or struggle which
may be between or among characters, within one
characters mind, or between a character and nature, or
society.

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The plot generally includes the following parts:


1. The introduction which includes the setting and the
important characters.
2. The conflict or problem which is the basis of the plot.
3. The climax, or turning point, which is the peak of
interest and strength in a plot.
4. The resolution or conclusion, which focuses on the
ending of the story.
d. Point of view refers to the person who tells the short
story. The two basic points of view are first person and
third person.
When one of the characters is the one telling the story
using his/her own words, the story is in the first person
point of view. Words, such as I, me, or myself are used.
When the story is told by someone who is not actually
involved in the events, the story is in the third person
point of view. The happenings are usually told by a
narrator.
e. The theme is the main idea or message of a story. It
shows the important matter covered in the story that
ranges from friendship, love, reconciliation, cooperation,
and many more.

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Lets Do This
Roars and Screeches
(Adapted from an old fable)

An old fable tells a story of a young lion and a cougar.


Both were thirsty. One hot afternoon, they happened to
arrive at the local watering hole at the same time. They
immediately began to argue about who should satisfy his
thirst first.
The argument became heated, and each decided he
should be the first to quench his thirst. Rulership of the
territory was at stake! Pride was an issue! As they
stubbornly confronted each other, their emotions turned to
rage. Their roars and screeches could be heard for miles as
they moved closer and closer to battle.
Then they both noticed strange shadows skirting
across the ground. Both looked up at the same time.
Circling overhead was a flock of vultures, waiting for the
loser to fall! Quietly, the two beasts turned and walked
away. The thought of being devoured was all they needed
to end their quarrel.
Gods Little Lessons for Teachers (Colorado
Springs, CO: Cook Communications
Ministries, Intl., 2001)
-adapted from Phoenix World of Reading 5

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Complete the worksheet to show the elements of


the story you have just read.
Title of the story:

Characters:

Setting:
Place:
Time:
Plot
Introduction
Conflict
Climax
Resolution

Point of View

Theme

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Lets Do More

Read the story, The Sphinx.

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The Sphinx
A long, long time ago, the city of Thebes in Egypt was
guarded by a sphinx. The sphinx is a creature with the
head of a woman and the body of a lion. It also has the
wings of an eagle.

Oedipus stopped and stared at the sphinx in awe.


Come closer, said the sphinx.
Oedipus shook like a leaf. He clutched his cloak and
the It
reins
was
of his
once
horse.
saidHethat
was afraid
the sphinx
that theasked
sphinxevery
would
passerby
clobber him.
a riddle. Not only did she ask every passerby by
a riddle
Heb came
she also
a little
terrorized
closer. him/her. If the passerby could
not answer
The sphinx
the riddle,
said, she
Ill allow
then clamped
you to pass
down
buther
you
claws
must
on
answer
them and
my ate
question
them up.
first. The sphinx asked him, What
being
It was
has afour
cloudy
legs day
in the
but morning,
Oepidus could
and three
see clearly
in the
yonder.
evening?
He rode his horse leisurely. The hoofs of the horse
went clop-clop.
Can you When
give me
Oepidus
a cluecame
so that
upon
I may
the give
sphinx,
youshe
the
commanded
correct answer?
him, Stop!
Oedipus
Noasked.
one passes by me!
No! The sphinx thundered.
Oedipus did not clarify the question anymore.
Actually, he already knew the answer. He just wanted to
make sure.
Man, Oedipus answered.
And why is that? the sphinx asked.
As a baby, man crawls on all fours. When he is older,
he walks on two legs. When he is older, he walks on two
legs. When he is very old, he leans on a stick, Oedipus
explained.
Thus, Oedipus was able79to escape the clutches of the
sphinx.

-adapted from Side by Side 6

Complete this graphic organizer of the elements of the


short story.
Title

Setting

Characters
Plot
Introduction

Conflict

Climax

Ending

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Lets Remember This


A short story has five important elements;
characters, setting, plot, point of view and theme.

Lets Test Ourselves


Read the story below and answer the questions that
follow.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
By L. Frank Baum

Little Dorothy Gale of Kansas dreams frequently of what


lies over the rainbow. One day, a tornado hit her farm and
carries her away. At the end of the rainbow, she finds herself in
picturesque Munchkinland, home of a fascinating people, the
Munchkins.

The Munchkins considered Dorothy as a heroine because in


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landing, her house accidentally killed the Wicked Witch of the


East. The Sorceress of the North advises Dorothy that only the
great Wizard of Oz can help her get back to Kansas. Dorothy
must find the Munchkins again in order to get directions to
Emerald City. She gets directions to Munchkinland from the
Scarecrow who joins her. They make it to the side of the bridge
where Munchkinland is located, and meet the Tin Woodman and
the Lion. The four travelers find the Munchkins and get
directions to the Emerald City.
When Dorothy and her friends finally meet the Wizard, he
demands that they kill the Wicked Witch of the West before he
will grant them their wishes. The friends go to the Witchs
castle. The witch plans to kill the four friends by shrinking them
into nothing in a cauldron of magic water. The witch threatens
the Scarecrow with fire but Dorothy protects the Scarecrow by
pulling the Witch back into the full cauldron to extinguish the
fire. The magic water puts out the fire and shrinks the Witch
into nothing.

Back at the Emerald City, the Wizard of Oz throws a party


in honor of the four friends and grants everyones wishes. He
gives the Lion a medal to represent courage, the Tinman a
heart to show his large heartedness, and the Scarecrow a
diploma for a Doctor of Scarecrow to signify graduation from
advanced study. The great Wizard of Oz escorts Dorothy back to
Kansas in his rocket ship.
-http://www.literature.org/authors/baum-l-frank/
the-wonderful-wizard-of-oz (accessed June 2005)

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1. What is the setting of the story?


2. Who are the characters?
3. Who is the protagonist or the hero of the story?
4. Does the story have an antagonist or a villain? If it does,
who is it?
5. Give a short explanation of the plot based on the
following:
a. Introduction (beginning)
b. Conflict (problem)
c. Climax (running point or the highest point of the
story)
d. Resolution (ending of the story)
6. From whose point of view was the story told? Why do you
think so?
7. What is the theme of the story?

Lets Enrich
Ourselves
Read the story about the little match girl. Complete the
graphic organizer with the elements of the short story.
THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL
It was Christmas. It was snowing heavily and the wind was
blowing hard and cold. A poor little girl dressed in rags was
wandering on the street. In her hands, she held a box of
matches. She approached strangers and begged them to buy
the matches. Her hands were frozen in the cold. A match might
have warmed them up. Oh! Could she dare to light one? Finally,
she took out a match and struck it. The little flame was very hot
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and she held her hands over it. Then, as if looking through a
magic lantern, the poor girl saw the most beautiful Christmas
tree in the world. It had hundreds of little candles glowing on
the green branches. The light from the match died and so did
the candles. The little girl pulled out another and again struck
it. The match lit and suddenly, there was bright light
everywhere. The little match-girl found herself face to face with
her dear old grandmother, who was as kind and as loving as
ever, but somehow more and more happy than the little girl
had ever seen her before.
Her grandmother gathered her into her arms, and together
they stepped through a splendid, shining gate and into a place
where it was never cold. She need not struggle anymore. She
was now in a place where there was no hunger and suffering.
- Hans Christian Anderson
Adapted from Side by Side 6
Rex Bookstore

Title

Setting

Characters

Events

Conflict

Ending

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Answer Key

Lets Do this
Title of the Story:

Roars and Screeches

Characters:

lion, cougar, vultures

Setting
Place: local watering hole
Time:

afternoon

Plot:
1. Introduction:
A young lion and a cougar who were both thirsty
arrived at the local watering hole at the same time.
2. Conflict:
The young lion and the cougar argue about who
should satisfy his thirst first.
3. Climax:
The argument between the two became heated.
Their emotions turned to rage. Their roars and screeches
could be heard for miles as they moved closer and closer
to battle.
4. Resolution:
The two stopped their argument and walked away
when they saw a flock of vultures circling overhead.
Point of view:
Third person
Theme:
Understanding must always reign to avoid conflicts.

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Lets Do More

The Sphinx

Sphinx, Oedipus

Time: long, long time ago


Place: city of Thebes

Plot
Oedipus was
riding his horse
when he passed by the
sphinx.

The sphinx asked Oedipus to


answer a riddle.

Oedipus asked clues from the


Sphinx.

Oedipus answered the riddle


correctly and was able to
escape the clutches of the
sphinx.
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Lets Test Ourselves


1. The story happened in Munchkinland.
2. The characters of the story are Dorothy, the Tin Woodman,
the Scarecrow, the lion, the Wicked Witch of the West, and
the Wizard of Oz.
3. Dorothy is the protagonist of the story.
4. The Wicked Witch of the West is the villain of the story.
5. Introduction: A tornado hit Dorothys farm and carries her
at the end of the rainbow.
Conflict: She has to kill the Wicked Witch of the West for
her to go back to Kansas.
Climax: Dorothy and her friends fought the Wicked Witch.
Ending: The Wizard of Oz escorts Dorothy back to
Kansas.
6. Third person is the point of view of the story.
7. To succeed in an endeavor is possible when there is
cooperation among members of the group.

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Lets Enrich Ourselves


The Little Match Girl

Setting:
Time: Christmas
Place: street

Characters:
poor little girl
grandmother

Events:
A poor little girl was wandering
on the street selling matches.
She did not go home for she
had not sold a match yet.

Conflict:
Her hands were frozen in the cold.

Ending:
Her grandmother took her and
brought her to a place where there was
no hunger and suffering.

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