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6 - 8
Multiple Subjects
Class Size:
10 to 30
Recent Resources
  1. The Elements of Fiction featuring RUINED by Paula Morris
  2. Where the Wild Things Are
More Resources

There are 4 assets for this resource.


  • "Where the Wild Things Are" book
  • Copies of the book's illustrations
  • Where the Wild Things Are movie
  • 2 Story Elements sheets per student
  • Paper
  • Pencil


  • Students will be able to analyze the elements of fiction (exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution) contained within Maurice Sendak's short story "Where the Wild Things Are" and within Spike Jonze's 2009 film based on the short story.
  • Students will also gain more practice focusing on comparing and contrasting.

Resource Instructions

1.  Read "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak while at the same time making sure the students can see the book's illustrations to be able to compare/contrast them to characters in the movie.

2.  Have the students discuss the elements of fiction contained within the story (protagonist, antagonist, setting, plot, and theme) and fill out a story element map.

3.  Watch the Spike Jonze's film adpation as a class. This may take 3-4 days depending upon the length of each class meeting.

4.  During the film, have the students take notes pertaining to the plot and other elements to use as a starting point for the essay.

5.  After viewing the film, have the students discuss the elements contained within the film, and to fill out the story element sheet as they go along.

6.  Have the students work on a prewriting activity to get an idea of the direction of their essay.

7.  Then, have the students starting writing their essays. I always have the students complete a rough draft, then do peer editing before they begin work on their final drafts. You may have your students type their final drafts. It's totally up to you.


Students will take their plot notes for both the short story and the film and compare and contrast them in a final written paper. This will assess the students' ability to locate and comprehend the elements of fiction, and will also test their ability to contrast two similar pieces of media.

This type of assessment works well for many levels of students learning and the teacher can make it as thorough or as simple as needed.

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