Finding the Problem and Solution in a Story

Contributor: Kim Trexler. Lesson ID: 10407

Do you ever have problems? Of course! Do you know how to solve them? Solving problems makes life and stories interesting! Watch how Olivia solves her toy problem, and learn to solve your own problems!


English / Language Arts, Reading

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Have you ever had a problem and had to solve it? Here's a problem that Sue has. Sue loves to eat apples, but lost her two front teeth. How would you solve this? How would your teacher solve this? Not all problems are solved the same way! Now, let's take a look at problems and solutions in stories.

Fictional stories need different elements to make them interesting and so they make sense.

These elements are the setting, characters, problem, and solution. Knowing about the setting and characters will lead us to a possible problem and solution.

For example, in the story Cinderella, Cinderella is the sweet daughter who lives with her wicked stepmother. The problem that follows is that the stepmother does not allow Cinderella to go to the ball. The solution in this story is that Cinderella gets help from her friends and fairy godmother to go to the ball and meet the prince.

Today, you are going to learn how to identify the problem and solution in a story.

As you probably already know, a problem is something that goes wrong for the character. Can you think of a problem you had yesterday (e.g., I lost my favorite toy.)?

A solution is how the problem is solved or fixed. How did you find your favorite toy? The answer to this question is the solution. Now you are going to find a problem and solution in a story.

Watch Summer Read Along:  Olivia and the Missing Toy  by Ian Falcone (below). As you are listening to the story, pay close attention to who is in the story (characters), where and when this story takes place (setting), and the problem and solution:


After listening to the story, print and complete the Story Plot Graphic Organizer (found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar) with your teacher.

Filling in this organizer will help you identify all the elements of the story!

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