Literary Terms Teaching Powerpoint

English 2
Short Stories
Unit Overview and
Literary Terms Definitions
Why have a whole unit about short stories?
Readers need to practice using academic vocabulary in
ways that deepen their understanding of how stories
work. Emphasizing the connection between reading and
writing gives readers the opportunity to apply the
literary terminology related to plot structures to short
stories that they read together and individually.
But why do I have to learn literary
Literature is one of the domains that has its own
vocabulary, and we all need to agree on the meaning
of terms we use to talk about what we’re reading.
Would you want a brain surgeon to operate on you
who said, “Oh, I’m going to use this thingamajig to cut
a hole in your whatchamacallit.” ?
What does is this quote trying
to teach us?
“But always he lacked the essential tool without which the
workman can never attain true mastery: he did not know the
names of any of the parts he was building, and without the name
he was artistically incomplete. It was not by accident that doctors
and lawyers and butchers invented specific but secret names for
the things they did; to possess the name was to know the secret.
With correct names one entered into a new world of proficiency,
became the member of an arcane brotherhood, a sharer of
mysteries, and in the end a performer of merit. Without the names
on remained a bumbler or, in the case of boatbuilding, a mere
James Michener, Chesapeake
Universal Themes
A Universal Theme is a theme common in many books
and is understood by a wide audience.
Universal themes we will study in this unit:
Life-altering choices
Challenging expectations
Expecting the unexpected
Why do we consider essential
Essential questions help readers by
stimulating thought
provoking inquiry
sparking more questions
Over-riding essential question
This is the question you
should consider throughout
the unit, and in truth,
throughout life. Remember
EVERY story has a
motivation behind it…
“How does an author’s purpose affect the story he
or she tells?”
The action in the story.
Character Traits:
The means by which an author
establishes character. An author
may directly describe the
appearance and personality of
character or show it through
action or dialogue.
Round character
A character who has many traits and feels like “real”
Flat character
A character who has only one or two character traits
and doesn’t inspire an emotional reaction
Static character
A character who remains the same despite the action
that occurs in the story
Dynamic character
A character who changes as a result of the action in
the story
First-person narrator:
The point of view of writing which
the narrator refers to himself or
herself as “I.”
Third-Person Limited Narrator:
The narrator, who plays no part in the
story, zooms in on the thoughts and
feelings of just one character. With this
point of view, we observe the action
through the eyes and with the feelings
of this one character.
A technique in which an author
gives clues about something that
will happen later in the story.
The central idea of a work.
The time and place in which a story occurs.
Unreliable Narrator:
An unreliable narrator does not always know what
is happening in the story, or he or she might be
lying or telling us only part of the story.
Irony occurs when something is said
or happens that is not what is meant
or expected.
Dramatic Irony
When the reader or audience knows something about
which the character or characters are unaware
Romeo, WAIT!!! She
isn’t really dead!!!
Situational Irony
When something happens that is opposite of what we
would have expected
Verbal Irony
When something is said that is contrary to what is
She’s really ACTIVE!
The use of concrete objects to stand for abstract ideas
Third-Person Omniscient Narrator:
The person telling the story knows everything there is to
know about the characters and their problems. This allknowing narrator can tell us about the past, the present,
and the future of all the characters. He or she can even
tell us what the characters are thinking. The omniscient
narrator is like a god telling the story.
A story in which all of the
elements represent
abstract qualities or ideas.
A work that makes fun of
something or someone.
The main character who faces
the central conflict.
The person or force working
against the main character
A literary device used to introduce background
information about events, settings, characters etc. to
the audience or readers.
Rising action:
A worsening of the conflict until the
climax of the work.
The most emotionally tense part of
the plot.
Falling action:
Events that take place after the
climax and lead to the resolution.
The result of the conflict.
Point of view:
The view point from which the story
is told.