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Here is a fun idea that I learned at a 'Stellar Strategies' workshop with Liz Warner several years ago here in Anchorage. It was a great workshop, and I walked away with many ready-to-use strategies for teaching vocabulary and language in general.


The Story Elements Glove was one easy-to-implement strategy that I'll probably never use as prescribed because I'll never have the forethought to procure latex-free gloves, so thank goodness it is also easy to modify.

  1. First, give all students a glove and have them put it on their non-writing hand.
  2. Next, give all students a pen (NOT a pencil).
  3. Students hold their non-writing hand with their palm facing them.
  4. Students label their fingers "Character", "Setting", "Problem", "Event", and "Solution" (in the Target Language, if you prefer).
  5. As you tell (or ask, or read) a story, students take notes about those five story elements on or below its corresponding finger.

When the students are done, they have an outline for the story!

Story elements glove - students identify the story elements from a class story and write them in pen on a latex glove that they are wearing.

You could use this as...

  • a listening assessment
  • notes from which the students write a summary of the story
  • notes for an oral re-tell or for writing


Using an actual glove is a novel way to do something that we do all the time... the only catch is that gloves are not as cheap and easy to come by as paper!!

An alternative, glove-less way to do it would be to have your students trace their hand on a piece of paper and fill in the details, which I have done several times since the workshop. I created this document to post as a model while my students complete this activity (it includes a Spanish, English, and blank form).

Five story elements graphic organizer by The Comprehensible Classroom

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