Teachers use Where the Wild Things Are to teach settings, characters and events in a story. This lesson plan by Deborah Szabo works best with K-2 students.
Prepare the classroom by tacking onto the walls three large pieces of butcher paper. At the top of one, write "Setting." Write "Characters" and "Events" at the top of the others.
Read the book to the class with feeling and enjoy the book with the class. After the reading, ask the class how they liked the story. Discuss if it was a "good story" or a "well-written story."
Stand by the "Characters" poster. Ask the children who the characters were. This is the easiest one for the kids to do because a character is concrete; events and settings are sometimes more abstract. Write the characters and character traits that the children remember on the butcher paper. Move on to and do the same for "Settings" and then to "Events." Under "Events," include two sub-topics: "Problems" and "Solutions." For example, a "Problem" is that Max was feeling wild and yelled at his mother. His "Solution" was to go to the place where the wild things are.
Doing this exercise with the class teaches students how to identify the elements that go into good story-telling, including characters and settings, events, problems and solutions.