Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Do-deca-he-dron-It's Greek to Me!

Leslie Briggs
Santa Rosa District Schools


This activity is great for reinforcing and demonstrating knowledge of the elements of a short story. Students create a “visual” report of the literary elements with a short story. The report is a 12-sided ball called a dodecahedron.


The student recognizes complex elements of plot, including setting, character development, conflicts, and resolutions.

The student understands how character and plot development, point of view, and tone are used in various selections to support a central conflict or story line.


-Dodecahedron Pattern
-Construction paper
-Glue/glue sticks
-Magazines, newspapers, clip art books, etc.
-Final Project Rubric
-Literary Elements Review Sheet
-Focus on Fiction handout
-Dodecahedron instructions
-Textbook or other collection of short stories for student reference


1. Print out and make an overhead transparency of literary devices and “Focus on Fiction.”
2. Print out and make each student a copy of the dodecahedron pattern and project instructions.
3. Create a final product for students to see.
4. Gather all necessary materials (glue, glue sticks, staplers, construction paper, etc.) only if he/she plans on providing for each student.
5. Print out a copy of the Final Project Rubric.


1. After completing a unit on the parts of a short story, the review literary devices by displaying an overhead transparency of terms. (Option-demonstrate finding the devices in a text familiar to all students, such as Cinderella, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, etc.) (see file attachment)

2. Instruct students to browse through the textbook and select a short story to read.

3. Pass out a copy of “Focus on Fiction” handout, or students copy “Focus on Fiction” from an overhead transparency.

4. Student reads chosen story.

5. Student completes “Focus on Fiction” hand-out.

6. Collect and assess hand-out.

7. Display a completed project and demonstrate how to complete a short story dodecahedron.

8. Student cuts out 12 circles of construction paper by using the pattern.

9. Student labels each circle and illustrates, within the dotted space, the written description. Illustrations include personal drawings, magazine or newspaper cutouts, clip art, etc.

10. Student folds each circle along dotted lines.

11. Student staples circles as sides meet (folded edges up) working around a center pattern until a ball is formed.

12. Assess, using the Final Project Rubric, and display completed projects. (see file attachment)


Assess the student’s work both informally and formally. After students complete the “Focus on Fiction,” assess this for comprehension, check for obvious spelling and mechanical errors.

Once the dodecahedron is complete, assess using the “Final Project Rubric.”


The dodecahedron is great for other projects like a personality ball. Each side illustrates and tells something about the student, or students could complete a ball on a given topic.
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