Elements of Story: Introduction Three Act Structure



This lesson is designed to either be executed in one 90-100 minute block period or two 50 minute blocks. It introduces the concept of narrative plot and act structure within film and television. Students are first encouraged to reflect upon the idea of story in their own lives, followed by a screening of a familiar television series, "Hey Arnold" where they will be prompted to make observations about the structure of the story. This leads up to an introduction to the general vocabulary involved in the elements of story and three-act structure. They will have the opportunity to create their own metaphors for the diagram (activity #1) and finally apply the plot points to the structure of the episode viewed at the beginning of class (activity #2). To end the lesson, the students present both their metaphors and their plot points to the class.

Lesson Time

One Block Period
90 - 100 Minutes
Two Periods
50 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment Arts, Media, and Entertainment
Grade Levels
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Adult

Standards and Objectives


California's 2008 CTE Standards (1)
California Academic Content Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will learn and understand the vocabulary associated with the elements of story.
  • Students will learn and understand the structure of the narrative three-act diagram and how it applies to television.
  • Students will learn and understand how to apply the elements of story to the three-act diagram.

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