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Home » Blog » Literacy » Comprehension » Top Teaching Strategies: Story Structure

Top Teaching Strategies: Story Structure

Comprehension, Literacy

Written by: Katie Palmer

The time has come to teach story structure! This can be a FUN and engaging comprehension skill to teach! Plus, teaching this skill helps with reading comprehension, close reading skills and story writing skills!

top teaching strategies story structure

What is story structure?

Story structure is how a story is laid out and is often taught in 2nd grade using the terms beginning, middle and end. Teachers often introduce elements of a story at the same time, such as: characters, setting, problem and solution.

Want to teach this skill in an engaging way? Try incorporating some of the ideas below today!

Reading Passages

Reading practice is ALWAYS beneficial, and using a passage with a layout familiar to students is helpful! Lucky Little Learners has a massive resource that currently includes 576 reading passages! AND guess what….there are passages that feature Story Structure as the targeted skill!

2nd grade reading passage to teach story structure

These passages are great as they help with fluency and comprehension. Here are some ideas for using these passages in the classroom:

  • Whole group: The teacher reads the story to the class while they follow along OR the class chorally reads it all together.
  • The passage is read in a small reading group targeting a certain skill
  • The passage is read individually (maybe even as a timed fluency read!)
  • The comprehension quiz could be given on Friday as an end of the week comprehension skill assessment.
story structure reading passage samples

Want to check out these passages first hand? See them HERE and read more about them HERE.

Graphic Organizers

Having students plot out the structure of a story (and story elements) can be VERY helpful in progressing reading comprehension skills. Teaching best practices tell us to use the “I do, We do, You do” teaching strategy when using a new graphic organizer. Here is the strategy broken down:

I do: The teacher models using the graphic organizer. Read a story structure reading passage. Afterwards, the teacher will fill out the both graphic organizers (beginning, middle, end organizer AND the Characters, Setting, Problem, Solution organizer) under a document camera or projected for the whole class to see.

free story structure graphic organizer

We do: For the next story structure lesson, use a new comprehension passage OR reread the same one for a repeated reading fluency strategy. Pass out copies of the graphic organizers to all students. The students and teacher will fill the organizers out together this time!

You do: Now it is the student’s turn to fill out the organizer individually. Pick a reading passage at their level and then have them fill the organizers out. (Great way to assess their understanding of this comprehension skill!)

Want to hear some good news? You can grab these graphic organizers for FREE HERE!


Lastly, a great way to cement the learning of any concept is through music! Check out these great story structure songs!

summarizing 2nd grade reading passages

Story Structure Reading Passages

summarizing 2nd grade reading passages

Reading Passages Bundle

Happy teaching!

top reading comprehension strategies for teaching story structure


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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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