Fiction! Exploring Literary Elements with School Supplies for Sale

exploring literary elements

Quality reading instruction equips students with the ability to read, respond to and discuss their understanding of a variety of texts. Fiction is often the first genre used in instruction because it is entertaining, full of color, and sparks curiosity. So let’s get into exploring literary elements with our anchor text School Supplies for Sale.

About the book: Like most kids, Neko wanted to end the summer doing something fun with his two best friends. He wanted to be able to start the new school year with a cool story to tell all of his classmates.

Being the mastermind that he is, he devised a plan that he was sure would get them exactly where they wanted to go. But he missed a crucial detail and possibly went about things all wrong. 

Materials Needed:

Class Set of School Supplies for Sale by Tonine Jackson

-Reading Journals and Pencils

-Class Set of Various Fiction Texts for Self Selection

-Teacher Created Story Elements Chart (w/ summary section-optional)

Learning Objectives:

3.8a- infer the theme

3.8b- explain the relationships among the major and minor characters

3.8c-analyze plot elements, including the sequence of events, the conflict, and the resolution


3.7b- write a response to a literary text that demonstrates understanding of the text

3.7c- use text evidence to support appropriate responses

3.10a- explain an author’s purpose or message within a text

Student “I Can” Statements:

I can:

  • make predictions.
  • describe the characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the story’s events.
  • retell a story.
  • identify the problem in a story and how it was solved.
  • infer the theme.
  • identify the relationships among characters.

Book Vocabulary:


Lesson Outline for Exploring Literary Elements w/ School Supplies for Sale

Before Reading:

To begin the lesson, introduce the learning objectives, student expectations and what the demonstration of learning will be. Have scholars read the I can statements.Take a few minutes to discuss and define academic vocabulary words, literary elements: characters, setting, plot,conflict, resolution, relationships, predict, summarize, infer, theme, sequence.


Read the title aloud to students. Then allow them to do a story stroll ( if they have their own copy of the book). If not, walk around the room, flipping through the text.

Next, ask scholars to make predictions. Ask them, based on what they saw in the illustrations, what they think the story will be about. Allow them to do a think-pair-share during this time.

Remind scholars that during the lesson, the focus will be literary elements so pay attention to the characters, setting, events, problem and solution in order to discuss. 

Now read the story. This is going to be your first read. No questions, just read straight through pausing to allow students time to analyze the graphic features ( illustrations)


After reading the book aloud twice, begin the class discussion( using the guided questions) and model for students filling in the story elements graphic organizer. 

Reading Literary Elements Guided Questions:

  • Setting: Where and when does the story take place? Does the setting change or stay the same? How does the setting influence the plot?
  • Characters: Who are the major characters? Who are the minor characters? Describe the relationship between two characters in the story. Tell how that relationship contributes to the plot.
  • Plot: What is the conflict? What events occurred to move the plot forward? How was the conflict resolved?
  • Theme: What theme, or message, is being conveyed in the story? How do you connect to the theme?
  • Literary devices: From what point of view is the story being told? How does this affect you as the reader?

Life Connection Essential Question- Does being a good friend mean that you have to go along with bad ideas?

Independent Practice

Scholars will now select a fiction text from a book bin of preselected books by the teacher. Students will read independently for a sustained period of time. Then they will complete their story elements activity sheet demonstrating their understanding of how to identify the elements of a literary text.


Have scholars mix- pair and share comparing and contrasting the elements of School Supplies for Sale to their self selected text. Encourage them to ask their partners questions.

Cross Curricular Connections and Texts:

Math- Time and money

Rodeo Time

What Time is It Mr. Crocodile? By Judy Sierra

Just a Second, A Different Way to Look at Time

A Dollar, A Penny, How Much, How Many?

If You Made a Million

I hope that you find this lesson plan on exploring literary elements in third grade helpful and that you will try it with your scholars. What other skills would you teach with this anchor text?

Teacher, T.