Free teaching resource

Literary Plot Elements - Graphic Organizer

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 1 page | Grades: 4 - 6

Familiarize students with finding the 5 elements of plot in a literary text.

Literary texts tend to follow a narrative structure that can be described as a formula:

  1. Something precedes a major event
  2. Things happen that move that event into focus
  3. The major event happens
  4. A result occurs from the event
  5. The event is resolved

These steps are known as the 5 elements of a plot, and they are used to keep a story moving along so that the viewer can make sense of the author’s message

Make multiple copies of this graphic organizer for every narrative text your students read to help them better understand the elements of plot in their reading. 

Elements of Plot Graphic Organizer

In this worksheet, students fill in the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution from a literary text. 

This graphic organizer can be used as a tool in your:

Plot Elements Worksheet Scaffolding & Extension Tips

Fast finishers can pick their favorite plot element and draw a picture that expresses the events and their contributions to the overall plot.

If students are struggling with the concepts, complete this worksheet with a small reading group and allow students to answer the questions out loud in a discussion format instead of writing down their answers.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

To turn this teaching resource into a sustainable activity, print a few recording sheets on cardstock and slip them into dry-erase sleeves. Students can record their answers with a dry-erase marker, then erase and reuse.

Before You Download

Use the drop-down icon on the Download button to choose between the *PDF or Google Slides version of this resource. 

*PDF versions include either a scaffolded copy or a no-text worksheet for students to write in each the names of the 5 plot elements to show they know where each happens in a text. Select the scaffolded option if you prefer the 5 elements and their definitions on the page.   

Don’t stop there! Explore our complete collection of printable graphic organizer templates

Plus, we’ve got more activities and worksheets to inspire appreciation for the fascinating world of literature: 

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Plot Elements Worksheet - "The Gift of Magi"

Using the companion text “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry, students will diagram the narrative structure of the story on the included plot elements worksheet.

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Setting-Plot Relationship Worksheet

A worksheet that explores the connections between setting and plot.

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Literature Task Cards

A set of 30 literature tasks to assist your students with examining and responding to literature.

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