by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
Why Are Stories Important?
A story tells us about an event or series of events, either real or fictional
(made-up). Stories are told to interest, entertain, and teach us. Stories help us connect
with others, communicate ideas, and imagine life’s possibilities. To help students
understand, analyze, and remember stories they read or hear, it is important for them
to identify the different components, or parts, of a story. Other names for “parts of a
story” are story structure or story grammar.
What Are the Parts of a Story?
Even the most basic stories have a beginning, middle, and end. However, there
are other story elements that are necessary for a story to make sense and to keep a
reader’s interest. The following are some of the components of a good story:
- Setting – The setting of the story is when and
where a story takes place. For example, the story
might take place right now, last year, hundreds
of years ago, or in the future. The story might
take place in the woods, on another planet, in
the ocean, or in a castle.
- Characters – The characters of a story are
the people or animals in the story. There are
often two categories of characters in a story—
the villains are the “bad guys” who create a
problem for the heroes, and the heroes are
the “good guys” who look for a solution to
the problem. It is also important for students to
understand the characters’ emotions in order to fully comprehend a story.
- Story Starter – The story starter is the beginning event which sets the
other events in motion. Often, the story starter is a problem o r conflict
which occurs because two or more of the story’s characters want to achieve
- Events – An event is something that happens in the story. The activities the
characters perform as they try to resolve a problem or conflict are the events in
- Plot – The plot is all of the action and events that take place in the story.
An interesting plot holds the reader’s attention and makes him/her want to
- Solution – The solution or outcome is the event that completes the story or
resolves the problem that began with the story starter.
- Closing Events – The closing events are the activities that wrap up the story.
Closing events often tell how characters feel about the solution to the problem.
For example, “They lived happily ever after” is the closing event found in many