Our Favorite YouTube Videos for Teaching Story Elements

Watch, learn, and remember!

Still from Story Elements Videos showing Plot Mountain

Learning to identify story elements is a big part of reading comprehension. Kids need to be able to pick out plot, characters, setting, conflict, theme, and more. That’s why we love these story element videos! There’s something here for every grade and style.

Tip: Watch these story element videos in advance to make sure they’re appropriate for your audience.

1. Parts of a Story Song

The familiar tune of this simple song makes it easy for kids to learn story elements like characters and setting. It’s ideal for introducing these concepts to young learners.

2. Parts of a Story (Jack Hartmann)

Jack Hartmann’s videos are popular with kids and teachers alike, and this one is no exception. Learn about beginning, middle, and end, plus characters, setting, and main idea.

3. Elements of a Story Rap

Need a break from cute songs? This rap is just what you need! Kids will find themselves chanting the chorus long after they watch it.

4. Story Elements Song (Swick’s Classroom)


Here’s another catchy tune to explore story elements. It’s repetitive, but that helps kids learn important terms they need to know.

5. Stories Are Like Tacos

Author and teacher Matthew Landis breaks down story elements in a truly delicious way! Middle school students will really get into this one.

6. Elements of a Story From Illustrations

Learn how you can determine story elements from an illustration too. Then, write your own tale! This one’s best for younger elementary students, and you can get a free printable on the YouTube page.

7. Short Story Elements

Assign this video to upper elementary and middle school students for a deeper dive into story elements. There’s no talking, just informative text presented in an engaging way.

8. How To Identify Theme Within a Story

Students often struggle to understand theme. This engaging watch focuses on theme in a way that’s terrific for older elementary students. Kids will learn they need to read all the way through before they can identify theme.

9. The Elements of a Story (Khan Academy)

Learn a story map with this video from Khan Academy. Follow it up with the next video, which shows a story map in action.

10. Plot Structure: Modeling & Practice

See a plot map in action with entertaining Pixar shorts. The first half of the video lays out the map. The second half allows you and your students to determine the story elements on your own.

11. Plot Mountain! | The Plot Diagram Song

Take a trip to Plot Mountain with this cute song! We love this for upper elementary kids, who might just want to sing along.

12. Elements of a Short Story

This is one of the longer story element videos, and it gives students plenty of useful information. They can watch at their own pace, taking notes as they go. Try it with grades 6-8.

13. Pixar in a Box: Introduction to Storytelling

Pixar paired up with Khan Academy to teach kids about storytelling. If you like this intro video, find the rest of the free lessons in this series here.

14. The Importance of Setting in a Story

The hip-hop style of this Flocabulary video will grab learners right off the bat. Setting is a lot more than just where the story takes place, and this video really makes that point.

15. Character Actions in Stories

Identifying characters is only the start. Explore how and why their actions are vital to a good story. Like other Khan Academy videos, the animation is simple but effective.

16. Using Video To Teach Elements of a Short Story (for Teachers)


OK, this lengthy video is for teachers only, but it’s full of amazing info. Watch educator Rachel explain how she teaches story elements to her seventh and eighth graders.

Short Films To Teach Story Elements


You’ll want to bookmark this playlist! It includes a variety of short films that make teaching story elements fun and engaging for students of every age.

What are your favorite story element videos? Come share in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out 49 anchor charts that totally nail reading comprehension.

Our Favorite YouTube Videos for Teaching Story Elements