Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Hanging Out with Stories

Elisabeth Coogle


Students respond to a fictional story by creating a story structure mobile illustrating the main characters, setting, plot, problem, story events, and solution.


The student extends previously learned knowledge and skills of the first grade with increasingly complex texts, assignments and tasks (for example, story structure, characters, setting, plot, problems and solutions).


-Fictional Story
-1 Coat hanger per student covered with white paper
-5X7 index cards (at least 6 per student)
-Markers or crayons
-Hole punch


Cover 1 coat hanger for each student with white paper in the triangle section.
Select a fictional story.
Gather materials.
Copy attached assessment.


1. Read a fictional story to the students that has an easy-to- follow story structure. There should be an obvious main character, setting, events, problem, and solution. Review what each of these terms means.

2. Hold up a prepared coat hangar. Demonstrate how students will illustrate the setting of the story. Discuss things they may want to draw.

3. Hold up a 5X7 index card. Tell students that they will use one side of the card to illustrate the main character and the other to write a complete sentence about the character.

4. Pass out 1 coat hangar and 1 index card per student. Allow students time to complete this assignment.

5. As students work, walk around room and attach the students' index cards to their coat hangars using string and a hole punch.

6. Get students' attention. Discuss the problem this character faced in the story. Pass a second index card to each student. Have students write the problem in their own words and illustrate the problem on the reverse side. As the students work, attach the problem cards to the character cards with string.

7. Get students' attention and discuss how the problem was solved. Go through the events in the story leading to the solution. Give each child 4 more index cards. Instruct students to use one card to explain how the problem was solved. The other 3 cards are to be used to describe other events that happened in the story. As students work, attach the cards in sequence under the problem card. Students that finish early may assist the teacher with this task.


Students will complete the assessment and complete the chart with at least 70% accuracy.


This activity could be used with an anthology or guided reading piece of literature that students read on their own.

Students should have some background knowledge of story elements.
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