The Plot, the Setting, the Characters: Story Elements For Kids

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story elements

The Plot Chickens is about Henrietta, a writing chicken who uses the book Writing Rules to explain story elements and her story writing process with her chicken aunts and you, the reader.

Story Elements

Here are her basic story element tips:

1. You need a main character. . .

2. You need to hatch a plot.

A plot of land? . . .

3. Give your main character a problem.

I don’t want any problems! . . .

4. Develop your plot by asking “what if”

5. Write what you know. . .

6. Build suspense.

Build a fence?

7. Make sure your story comes alive by using all 5 senses

8. The main character must solve his/her own problem.

Her examples are hilarious.

Henrietta builds her story using character, plot, problem, background knowledge, what if’s, the five senses and the main character solving her own problem.

Do you recognize Henrietta?  She lives in the book The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane and Herm Auch.  It’s a hilarious read with fiction writing elements every writer must use – young or old!  The Plot Chickens teaches literary elements which are found in all fiction books. I love it!

story elements

Use what you learn in this book to discuss other books you read and use it when you write your own story.

Ideas for Discussion


What is the problem in this book?  How do you think the main character will solve this problem by himself or herself?

Use picture book mentor texts that teach problem and solution.


“Does this make you see a picture in your mind? Hear something in your mind?”

Use picture book mentor texts that teach writing with sensory details.


“Who is the main character?”

P.S.  Plot Chickens even talks about the writer’s rejection.  Know any adult writers who might need to read that part?   (Holiday gift idea?!)

Tips for writing stories:

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  1. Aunt Isabella Tells a Good One is another book that describes story elements. I’m looking forward to reading The Plot Chickens.

  2. What a clever little book The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane and Herm Auch is!

    Thanks for highlighting it, Melissa. I definitely know a few adults who will be charmed by it too.

    Love the look of your new site. Awesome!