May is National Get Caught Reading Month. All monthlong, we want to raise awareness of the power that reading has. It can transform you to different worlds. It can increase your range of vocabulary. It can open your minds to new possibilities.
Literary devices are the building blocks of storytelling. They help readers understand the meaning of a story. You will find that all stories have characters, a setting, a plot, a theme, and a point of view. Graphic organizers are an important tool to help you get the most out of reading. For this month, we’re offering five free graphic organizers to use in a study of the literary devices: characterization, setting, plot, theme, and point of view.
The Characterization Graphic Organizer provides a very complete description of character traits. This Graphic Organizer is a series of six rectangles arranged like the spokes in a wheel. The rectangle in the middle is the place you will write the name of your character. In each rectangle that radiates from the center, one of these titles and questions are written:
1. Dialogue (What does the dialogue reveal about him or her?)
2. Physical Description (What does he or she look like?)
3. Thoughts (What is he or she thinking?)
4. Actions (What do actions reveal about him or her? include gestures, motions)
5. Reactions of Others (What do others think of him or her?)
The Three Elements of Setting Graphic Organizer is a setting map showing three rectangles labeled, “Place,” “Time,” and “Environment,” merging together to make the literary device, “Setting.” This graphic organizer also includes some tips for developing the setting of a story.
The Five Stages of Plot Development in a Story, Movie, or Play Graphic Organizer is a large circle that has been divided into five parts. It looks like a pie that has been sliced into five pieces. Beginning at the top of the circle and continuing clockwise, each part is numbered and has a fill-out line with a description of a particular stage of plot development. The numbers show what happens first in the plot of a story, what happens second, and so forth. Your job is to put the name of each stage on the correct line.
The Theme Tree Graphic Organizer is very helpful when you are asked to identify the main theme and the parts of the story which relate to it. The Theme Tree is a line drawing of a big, leafless tree with several branches. Write the main theme on the trunk of the tree, then write each part of the story that relates to the theme on the individual branches.
Point of View
The Literary Point of View Spider Graphic Organizer is a diagram that resembles a spider, with place for the character’s name and point of view on the body. Each of the “legs” of the spider is a place to write examples of the author’s opinions, ideas, and thoughts that make up his or her point of view.
If more inspiration is needed to encourage students to start reading, check out our Teaching Strategies blog post.