Elements of a Short Story 7th Grade Language Arts Power Point Presentation created by: SeliseRidolfi
Elements of a Short Story • Setting • Characterization • Plot (including Climax) • Conflict • Theme • Point of view
Short Story Vocabulary • Setting:Tells the reader where and when the story takes place.
Short Story Vocabulary • Plot: A series of events through which the writer reveals what is happening, to whom, and why.
Brainstorming • What are some significant events in the story “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto?
Practice • Let’s diagram the plot of “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto.
Homework • Watch your favorite T.V. show (cannot be a reality show!) • Take notes on the events that happen • Diagram the plot • The title of the assignment should be: Plot Diagram of “insert name of t.v. show” *Due Tomorrow!!
Now it’s your turn • Read your assigned short story and diagram the plot. • Key questions to consider: • What did the author need to explain to the readers in the exposition section? • What inciting event causes the action to begin to “rise”? • Where does the story peak? Is there a clear climax? • Which events lead up to the conclusion? • How is the story resolved?
Plot: Conflict Conflict is the problem in the story that needs to be resolved. Without conflict, there is no plot.
Character vs Character Character vs Nature Character vs Society Character vs Self Plot: Types of Conflict
Plot: Character vs. Character Conflict This type of conflict finds the main character in conflict with another character, human or not human. “The new one is the most beautiful of all; he is so young and pretty.” And the old swans bowed their heads before him. Then he felt quite ashamed, and hid his head under his wing; for he did not know what to do, he was so happy, and yet not at all proud. He had been persecuted and despised for his ugliness, and now he heard them say he was the most beautiful of all the birds. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson
Plot: Character vs. Nature Conflict This type of conflict finds the main character in conflict with the forces of nature, which serve as the antagonist. It´s a Truffula Seed. It´s the last one of all! You´re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds. And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs. Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Plot: Character vs. Society Conflict This type of conflict has the main character in conflict with a larger group: a community, society, culture, etc. “I’m tired of living in a hole,” said Jenny. “Let’s fight for freedom!” cried Bouncer. “We’ll be soldiers! Rough-riding Rowdies! I’ll be the general and commander-in-chief!” The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg
Plot: Character vs. Self Conflict In this type of conflict, the main character experiences some kind of inner conflict. Finally, Sam’s father said, “Go to bed now. But before you go to sleep, Sam, tell yourself the difference between REAL and MOONSHINE.” Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness
Short Story Vocabulary • Point of view: The position of the narrator of the story and what the writer sees from that vantage point.
First-person narration • The narrator is a character in the story. • The narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of one character and speaks directly to the reader, who know only information of which this character is aware. • The narrator uses the first-person pronouns, I, me, and my.
First-person narration example I took the subway to Clancy Street, found a spot in front of Park View Apartments and started to play my sax. I was hoping to attract an audience and, if I was lucky, earn some money. The morning started out great. This girl opened her window and applauded madly. Later, I had a duet with this big howling dog—what a riot! I had to move on, however, when a guy slammed the window shut and called police—not a music lover. He said I was disturbing the peace. Give me a break.
Third-Person Limited • The narrator does not participate in the action of the story. • The narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of one character; the reader knows only information of which this character is aware. • The narrator uses third-person pronouns like he, she, and they.
Third-person limited narration example The man couldn’t take any more. It was noon, but he had just fallen asleep, because he had worked the night shift. He had trouble getting to sleep because he was worried—he had just lost his job at the warehouse. And why was he fired? Because he fell asleep on the job. And why had he been so sleepy? Because a barking dog had kept him awake the day before. And here it was again, a barking, howling dog right outside his window! And some beggar playing a horn besides. The man picked up his phone and dialed 911.
Third-Person Omniscient • The narrator does not participate in the action of the story. • The narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters; the reader gets insight into several characters and learns any information of which they are aware. • The narrator uses third-person pronouns like he, she, and they.
Third-person omniscient example One sunny day, a young woman looked down from her apartment window and saw a young man playing a saxophone. “Cool,” she thought as she swayed in time with his tune. Shortly, a large brown dog sauntered up, sat in front of the musician, and howled along with the music. Then a man in his pajamas yelled from another window. He said that the noise woke him up and he was going to call the police. This man worked the night shift and had to sleep all day and liked cats better than dogs anyway. The young saxophonist left. Soon the young woman appeared in the street and hurried off in the direction taken by the departing horn player. In a year’s time, the young woman married the talented saxophonist, he had a hit CD, and they adopted a large brown dog.
Identify the point of view of the following selection: • 1. The three with the medals were like hunting-hawks; and I was not a hawk, although I might seem a hawk to those who had never hunted; they, the three, knew better, and so we drifted apart.
Identify the point of view of the following selection: • 2. Judith had studied hard for the test, and she though she had understood the material. Now that it was over, she just didn’t know. For some reason, her mind just went blank at the start of the test! Now she wondered about her answers-were they too short? should she have added more details? She just wasn’t sure!
Identify the point of view of the following selection: • 3. “What’s that sound in the attic?” thought Angela. “It sounds like ghosts playing marbles.” The thought of ghosts having a game of marbles in the attic made her smile. She was almost tempted to go upstairs and join them, but she still had an essay to finish, and had frequently been distracted that afternoon by the sound of light scampering on her roof. A squirrel sitting in a tree near the window chewed on an acorn thoughtfully and watched intently as Angela went back to her homework.
Short Story Vocabulary • Characterization: The process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character.
Ways writers reveal a character: • By telling us directly what the character is like: humble, ambitious, impetuous, easily manipulated, and so on • By describing how the character looks and dresses • By letting us hear the character speak
Ways writers reveal a character: • By revealing the character’s private thoughts and feelings • By revealing the character’s effect on other people—showing how other characters feel or behave toward the character • By showing the character’s actions
Two methods of revealing character: 1. Direct characterization 2. Indirect characterization
Direct Characterization • The writer tells us directly what the character’s personality is like.
Indirect Characterization • The reader has to use their own judgment and put clues together to figure out what the character is like. • You can develop your characters by showing the reader what they are like. Describing how characters look, act, think, and speak. • We do this in real life when we are getting to know someone.
Showing the reader is far more effective! Original sentence: His mom was really mad. Revised writing showing character through how she looks, acts, thinks, and speaks: As her face slowly began to turn bright red, he noticed her taking a deep breath and sucking in her cheeks. Her large brown eyes narrowed into slits, and a hundred new wrinkles appeared on her forehead as her eyebrows scrunched together in a frown. His mom’s long black hair started to shake from side to side as she raised an accusing finger in his direction.
Showing is more effective! Revised writing showing character through how she looks, acts, thinks, and speaks: As her face slowly began to turn bright red, he noticed her taking a deep breath and sucking in her cheeks. Her large brown eyes narrowed into slits, and a hundred new wrinkles appeared on her forehead as her eyebrows scrunched together in a frown. His mom’s long black hair started to shake from side to side as she raised an accusing finger in his direction.
Practice • Lucy looked sad. Take a few minutes to revise this sentence.
Short Story Vocabulary • Climax: When the action comes to its highest point of conflict.
Short Story Vocabulary • Resolution: The story’s action after the climax until the end of the story. The “conclusion” of the story.
Short Story Vocabulary • Theme: The story’s main ideas. The “message” the writer intends to communicate by telling the story.
Elements of a Short Story • Setting • Characterization • Plot • Conflict • Climax • Resolution • Theme • Point of view
Short Story Great writers are able to use the elements of the short story with such precision that the reader is caught up in the action of the story. This is a mark of a good story and our goal as a writer.
The Assignment • In the next lesson you will review the short story elements and learn to follow and map the sequence of events in a story. • You will learn to distinguish the various points of view from which a story may be told. • You will learn about all of the previously mentioned short story elements.
Step-by-step Instructions • Begin Elements of a Short Story web quest, go to:www.suhsd.k12.ca.us/mvm/netlinks/1shortstory/1shortstory.html • Follow the directions for each step before going onto the next step. • Complete the activities worksheets. • Complete open response question. Let's Go!!!