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Lesson Plan

Teaching About Story Structure Using Fairy Tales

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Teaching About Story Structure Using Fairy Tales

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Read-aloud: three 20-minute sessions; Instruction and writing: five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Tampa, Florida


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Stories and poems that have a familiar structure can create a supportive context for learning about the writing process, building students' background knowledge, and scaffolding their creation of original stories. In this lesson for students in second or late first grade, teachers help students explore the concepts of beginning, middle, and ending by reading a variety of stories and charting the events on storyboards. As they retell the stories, students are encouraged to make use of sequencing words (first, so, then, next, after that, finally). A read-aloud of Once Upon a Golden Apple by Jean Little and Maggie De Vries introduces a discussion of the choices made by an author in constructing a plot. Starting with prewriting questions and a storyboard, students construct original stories, progressing from shared writing to guided writing; independent writing is also encouraged.

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  • Beginning, Middle, and Ending Chart: In this lesson, students learn about story structure by identifying beginnings, middles, and endings in familiar stories. This handout can be used to aid students in sequencing and sequencing words.

  • Prewriting Questions: This handout helps students evaluate story structure by answering the questions who, what, where, when, how, and why.

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Harrington, S.L. (1994). An author's storyboard technique as a prewriting strategy. The Reading Teacher, 48(3), 283286.

  • Storyboard is a prewriting technique that combines children's love of drawing with their ability to tell and write stories.

  • Many authors use storyboards to plan and create stories.

  • Storyboards help students to sequence the events in their stories.


Olness, R. (2005). Using literature to enhance writing instruction: A guide for K-5 teachers. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

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