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Drawing Conclusions Based on Literary Elements

Lesson Plan

Drawing Conclusions Based on Literary Elements


In this lesson, students build on the understandings developed in Lessons 1 and 2 and draw conclusions based on literary elements. Students will:

  • draw conclusions based on information within a text, including determining the theme of a text.
  • identify textual evidence to support conclusions.
  • make connections between texts.

Essential Questions

How do strategic readers create meaning from informational and literary text?
What is this text really about?
  • How does interaction with text provoke thinking and response?
  • How do strategic readers create meaning from informational and literary text?
  • What is this text really about?


  • Drawing Conclusions: Using clues from a passage to develop a reasonable judgment or idea that was not explicitly stated in the passage.
  • Character: A person or an animal in a story.
  • Setting: The time and place in which a story unfolds.
  • Plot: The structure of a story. The sequence in which the author arranges the events in a story.
  • Conflict: A struggle or clash between characters.
  • Resolution: The part of a story in which the conflict is resolved.
  • Theme: A topic of discussion or writing; a major idea broad enough to cover the entire scope of a literary work.


45–90 minutes/1–2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills haven't been entered into the lesson plan.


  • Cendrillon by Robert D. San Souci. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1998.
  • copies of Comparing Folklore Chart (L-5-1-2_Comparing Folklore Chart_student.xlsx)
  • Cinderella Stories Chart_teacher copy: to be used for overhead transparency or projected on a screen for the class to view (L-5-1-2_Cinderella Stories Chart_teacher.xlsx)
  • multiple copies of any of the following books (enough to have the class read in small groups) Two students could share a copy of one book within a group.
    • The Irish Cinderlad by Shirley Climo (easy). HarperCollins, 2000.
    • Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman (easy). Henry Holt and Company, 2007.
    • Cinderella, Puss in Boots and Other Favorite Tales as told by Charles Perrault (easy). Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000
    • Cinderella retold by Amy Ehrlich (medium-easy). Dutton Children’s Books, 2004.
    • Sootface, An Ojibwa Cinderella Story by Robert D. San Souci (medium-easy). Dragonfly Books, 1997.
    • The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo (medium). HarperCollins, 1992.
    • Yeh-Shen, A Cinderella Story from China retold by Ai-Ling Louie (medium). Puffin, 1996.
    • The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo (medium). HarperCollins, 1996.
    • The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo (medium-challenging). HarperCollins, 2001.
    • Domilita: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition adapted by Jewell Reinhart Coburn (challenging). Shen’s Books, 2000.

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Formative Assessment

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    • During the lesson, focus on drawing conclusions within and across texts, making connections between texts, and responding to text by evaluating its plot/organization and its major components. By observing each student working in the small group, you can redirect or reteach individual students or a small group if students are having difficulty with drawing conclusions. As you walk among the groups, you might use a list of student names to record anecdotal notes and data regarding students’ participation, knowledge of drawing conclusions, and use of reading strategies.
    • By observing each student working in the small groups, you can redirect or reteach individual students or a small group if they are having difficulty identifying literary elements or with finding quotations from the text as evidence of the elements. Collecting the charts for the extending activity will offer the opportunity to assess each student’s needs.
    • Use the following checklist to evaluate students’ understanding:
      • Student draws conclusions based on text evidence.
      • Student cites appropriate quotations from the text as evidence to support conclusions.
      • Student demonstrates the ability to compare key literary elements (setting, characters, conflict, resolution theme) among two or more stories.

Suggested Instructional Supports

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    Scaffolding, Active Engagement, Modeling, Explicit Instruction
    W: Build on students’ knowledge of literary elements by explaining how to draw conclusions, including determining the theme, based on information in folklore. 
    H: Engage students by using the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears to model how to draw conclusions based on text. 
    E: Have students work together to complete the “Drawing Conclusions” column on their Comparing Folklore Chart. 
    R: Allow students to work in a large group to compare information about Cinderella stories on their Comparing Folklore Charts. Help students make connections across texts in order to draw conclusions about literary elements in the stories. 
    E: Use a formative assessment checklist to determine which students need additional instruction or practice in drawing conclusions. 
    T: Provide texts at varying levels of complexity to allow students to achieve understanding at their conceptual level. 
    O: This lesson provides opportunities for large-group instruction and modeling, small-group exploration, and large-group discussion and summary. 

Instructional Procedures

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    Focus Question: How can a reader draw a conclusion based on literary elements?

    Activate prior knowledge by asking students to think about the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Tell students that Goldilocks uses the bears’ furniture, eats their porridge, and sleeps in the bears’ beds. Point out that we know from our own experience that this behavior is not appropriate or the right thing to do. Ask students if, by using Goldilocks’s actions and our own experiences, we can draw the conclusion that Goldilocks probably does not have very good manners and is impolite. When students are engaged, begin the lesson on drawing conclusions.

    Ask, “What does it mean to draw a conclusion?” (using different pieces of information from the text to come up with something new; making a reasoned judgment about something by using knowledge or evidence, personal experience, opinions, observations, and facts about something different but related)

    Display on the screen the Cinderella Stories Chart (L-5-1-2_Cinderella Stories Chart_teacher.xlsx).

    “Look at what we have written for the setting of the story Cendrillon: island in the Caribbean Sea.” Continue reviewing the information for the setting of each of the other stories read by the class, asking students from each small group to share the setting information.

    Then ask, “What conclusion can we draw about all the settings in our stories?” (One possible conclusion is that folklore usually takes place long ago or exists in the past.) Have students write that conclusion on their Comparing Folklore Charts (L-5-1-2_Comparing Folklore Chart_student.xlsx). Model this on your teacher/class copy of the Cinderella Stories Chart by using the projected version on the screen. Tell students that they are making connections across texts in order to draw these conclusions.

    Move to the Characters section. Follow the same process of having students share information about the characters for each of the stories read by the class. Then ask, “What conclusion can be drawn about the characters in the stories we have read?” (They have a problem and solve it in the end; they have someone who helps them.)

    Have students work in pairs to write a conclusion about the remaining literary elements on the Comparing Folklore Chart. Have pairs share their conclusions with the class.

    Focus on conclusions students have drawn about theme. Ask, “How does understanding literary elements help you draw conclusions about theme?” (The ways characters interact and resolve conflicts help the reader determine the theme of a story.)

    Discuss how drawing conclusions can improve our understanding of the text and how it helps the reader understand what the author has written even when it is not stated directly in the story. Discuss with students how connections across texts can be made, whether texts are read simultaneously or at different times.


    • Have students who are ready to move beyond the standard find other versions of the Cinderella story or other folklore they have read, either on the Internet or in a book. Ask them to identify whether the conclusions the class wrote about theme hold true if this new story is added to the chart. Have students add a column to their chart for this new story and complete the information.
    • If additional practice is needed for drawing conclusions or making connections between texts, ask students if they recognize the theme of the Cinderella story in any modern stories they have read or seen in movies or on TV programs. These could be discussed as a group or as a class, analyzed on a chart, or written individually. Have students respond in writing to one of the Cinderella stories they have read, stating what they liked or disliked, identifying literary elements, and explaining the reasons for their opinions.
    •  Students could also compose, individually or in groups, their own modern Cinderella story and explain its connections to the folklore.

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Final 05/10/2013
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