EL Support Lesson

Exploring Fictional Text

This lesson will provide your EL students with support as they explore the elements of fictional text and learn about verbs in the present participle tense. This lesson can be used as a stand alone activity or a support lesson.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Elements of Traditional LiteratureLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Elements of Traditional LiteratureLesson plan.

Students will be able to recognise the elements of fictional text.


Students will be able to recognise the elements of a fictional text with the present participle tense using graphic organizers and sentence frames.

(5 minutes)
The Ants and the GrasshopperPractice with VerbsFrayer ModelVocabulary Cards: Exploring Fictional TextGlossary: Exploring Fictional TextTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Pick out a fictional text (fairy tale or fable) from the classroom library that students are familiar with.
  • Activate prior knowledge of the elements of fictional text by taking students on a "picture walk." Start with the cover of the book and model thinking aloud to connect to what you know. An example would be, "On the cover of the story, I see a woman dressed up like a queen. She looks like she is speaking with a frog. I know frogs aren't able to talk in real life, and I know that fictional text sometimes has animals that talk, think, act, or feel like people. I bet this book is imaginary, or not real, so it's a fictional story!" Continue this process, illiciting ideas from students.
  • Encourage students to think about the following elements during the picture walk: characters, setting, problem, solution, plot, magic, transition words, moral, etc.
  • Write the following language goals on the board in student-facing language and read through them as a choral chant:
    • I can recognise the elements of a fictional text.
    • I can create and recognise verbs in the present participle tense.
(10 minutes)
  • Define the Tier 1 vocabulary words as a whole group, asking students for their ideas. Show visuals from the Vocabulary Cards and find visuals online to help student understanding.
  • Discuss how the picture relates to the vocabulary word and provide examples and non-examples of the vocabulary words that seem the most challenging for students.
  • Put the Frayer Models up around the room (with one of the Tier 1 vocabulary words pre-written on each) and remind students how to complete the models.
  • Begin a carousel activity by separating the students into small groups and asking them to rotate from one Frayer Model to another.
  • Give each group a colored marker to add pictures, thoughts, sentences, and brief notes about vocabulary words from the lesson. Next, ask each group to go back to their desks with one of the completed Frayer Models.
  • Ask the students to share out their interpretations of the pictures, thoughts, sentences, and brief notes on their chosen vocabulary word. Write the following sentence frames on the board to provide support as students orally share their ideas:
    • The word ____Is an element that can be found in fictional texts and means ____.
    • The word ____Means ____.
    • There is a picture of a ____, and I think that connects to the word ____Because ____.
(8 minutes)
  • Pass out the Vocabulary Cards and give the students a moment to think about what all the words have in common. Allow a few students to share out. Clarify any misconceptions and explain to the students that the words are all verbs, meaning actions. Use one of the words in a sentence and write the sentence on the board. Ask students if they think the words are written in present or past tense. Write the following sentence frame on the board to support them as they answer:
    • The word ____Is written in ____Tense. I know this because ____.
  • Explain to students that the vocabulary words are all verbs in the present participle tense. Make the explanation accessible by explaining that the present participle tense is another way of saying we add an "-ing" to the end of the base word.
  • Explain that the present participle tense is something that is going on right now, whereas verbs written in the past tense show an event that has already happened. Provide a few examples orally.
  • Project the practise with Verbs worksheet on the board. Explain to students that they will fill out the chart together, creating the base and past verbs for each of their vocabulary words.
  • Explain that when verbs are irregular, they don't always follow a simple pattern when we change them to past tense. Guide students through the process of changing the verbs to their correct form, allowing students to come up to the board to record their answers.
  • Split the students into small groups and ask them to create sentences using the verbs written in past tense, referring to the chart on the board.
(8 minutes)
  • Split students into six groups and pass out The Ants and the Grasshopper worksheet and one notecard/element of fiction to each group. Ask students to read their notecard and clarify any questions they may have about the element of fiction they received. Write the following directions on the board and read them aloud:
    1. Read the story and circle the verbs in past participle tense.
    2. As you read, discuss whether or not the story has the element of fiction written on your notecard. Use the following sentence frames to support your discussion: The element ____Is in the text. We believe this because ____.
  • Allow students to read and complete the activity. Circulate and observe the student's body language, oral language, and ability to communicate using the sentence frame for support.


  • Define the elements of text in English and student's home language (L1) prior to the picture walk.
  • Define vocabulary words in English and L1 with supporting visuals.
  • During the whole group activity of filling out the chart, sit student next to sympathetic non-ELs.
  • Have students share their findings with a teacher during the formative assessment, using sentence stems, visuals, and word banks for support.


  • Encourage students to paraphrase the learning goals in their own words.
  • Have students orally summarize the plot in the story after each paragraph.
(5 minutes)
  • Bring students together and allow them to share their findings, using the sentence frame for support. Encourage students to read the specific sentence where they found the evidence to support their findings.
  • Post the following discussion questions on the board to spark further conversation surrounding elements of fictional text:
    • I agree with ____Because ____.
    • I disagree with ____Because ____.
    • I'm still wondering about the element ____Because ____.
  • Use the discussion as a way to formatively assess student's understanding of the elements of fictional text.
(4 minutes)
  • Remind students of the learning goals and write them on the board:
    • I can recognise the elements of fictional text.
    • I can create and recognise verbs in the present participle tense.
  • Pass out two sticky notes to each student, and have students rate themselves on a scale of 1–3 (by putting their sticky notes with chosen rating under the learning goal on the board):
    • (3) I can teach someone the learning goals.
    • (2) I am getting there.
    • (1) I still need more practise and time.
  • Allow student's responses to guide future planning.

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