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Lesson Plans
Story Elements Lesson
1st–2nd Grade
Objectives Objectives
  • Students will actively listen to a read-aloud selection.
  • Students will extend reading comprehension by identifying the who, what, when, where and why elements of a story.
Materials Materials Needed
  • Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10 by Judy Finchler
  • Chalkboard or whiteboard
  • Sentence Strips and marker
  • Pick-A-Question cards
  • Paper and pencils (one for each small group)
  • Pocket chart or digital aids (e.g., interactive whiteboard, document camera, etc.)


Read aloud Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10 by Judy Finchler.



  1. Introduce students to the five Ws of reading comprehension by writing the following words on the chalkboard or whiteboard: Who? What? When? Where? and Why?
  2. Explain to students that learning to listen and look for answers to these five important questions is an excellent way to strengthen their understanding of what they read.
  3. Ask students the following questions about Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10. Invite them to think about the story and share their responses aloud.
    • Who are the main characters in the story?
    • What is the story about? What happens in the beginning, middle and end of the story?
    • When does the story take place?
    • Where does the story take place?
    • Why do the students think Miss Malarkey lives in Room 10? And why do they change their minds?
  4. Write the students’ responses on sentence strips. Display the responses in a pocket chart or attach them to the classroom board beneath each “W” word for visual reference.

Guided Practice Guided Practice

  1. Assign students to small groups of three to four students each.
  2. Select a story or passage for the whole class to read together. (To improve reading comprehension, you can choose to focus on a recent language arts selection in your classroom.)
  3. Download and print out a copy of the Pick-A-Question cards for each group.
  4. Have students take turns selecting a question card and answering it within their group. Invite students to discuss their answers and help each other come to a consensus. Then have one student in each group record the group’s answers.
  5. At the end of the activity, invite the groups to take turns sharing their responses with the class.

Independent Practice Independent Practice

Place the Pick-A-Question cards or question-card sticks in an independent reading center for additional practice.

View the 1st–2nd Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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