3. Teachers guide students to identify literary elements as they read aloud, listen to, and discuss books together.
Beginning English language learners (ELLs) and first-time readers need to have literary elements explained, reviewed, and restated. To illustrate literary elements, effective teachers use props to stimulate discussion. For example, they illustrate story structure with a paper folded in thirds labeled "beginning, middle, and end." They differentiate the concepts of character and setting using cutouts, color forms, or flannel board figures and backgrounds. During discussions about books, they review these literary elements in context.
Effective teachers say things like:
We just read Annie and the Wild Animals. Who was the main character?
When we read An Evening at Alfie's, who was the main character?
What about when we read Alfie Gives a Hand?
The main character was Alfie again, but the setting was different.
The two Alfie stories happened in different places.
Where did they happen?
The settings were different.
Setting is the place where the story happens, and character is the person or the animal that the story is about.