Have you ever asked your students, "Why is the ___ important to the character?" or "Why was the beanstalk important to the story?," only to receive blank stares or vague answers that are nowhere near the correct answer. Or even better, have them try to write to solve this. (For this I recommend that you use the RACE strategy to get a good written response, check out my store RACE: Teaching The RACE Written Comprehension Constructed Response Strategy
My second grade students struggle with this, so I created this pdf, which can be projected like a powerpoint, to help my students understand what is a critical element. This product has 4 different activities:
1) Introduces what a critical element is using Dectective McTabby The Cat
2) Introduces the two kinds of critical elements using two different stories. Each story includes questions to use to annotate on the text to answer, an answer key, and a class discussion on what students learn about each type of critical element:
1) A Critical Element To Solve A Problem (Buster the dog
helps save his master from a fire - Buster is the critical
2) A Critical Element That Leads A Character To A Discovery
(Alex sees a ribbon that leads him to his birthday present)
3) Jack and The Beanstalk Part 1 (Analyzing for a critical element to try to solve a problem and leads to a discovery, includes answer keys, different colors to annotate text, and thinking or written comprehension questions).
4) Jack and The Beanstalk Part 1 (Analyzing for a critical element to make a discovery which solves a problem, includes answer keys, different colors to annotate text, and thinking or written comprehension questions).