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Hugga Loula - Basic Elements of a Story


Understand the following parts of a book utilizing the picture book Hugga Loula: Front cover, spine, back cover, title, and title page.

Understand the following five basic elements of a story utilizing the picture book Hugga Loula: setting, character, plot, conflict or problem, and theme.


Before Reading

Show the front cover. Read the information given and then ask: What is the title of this book? Who is the author?

 Who is the illustrator? (Depending on the age of the children, you may want to read the information about the author and the illustrator on the back book flap.)

Show the back cover. Read the phrase on the back. When you read the book, invite the children to join you in saying the repetitive phrase.

Show the spine. What information is usually given on the spine of a book?

Open to the title page. Explain briefly what is on a title page.

Review the following terms with the children: character, setting, plot, conflict/problem, and theme.

What do you think Hugga Loula is going to be about?

Read Hugga Loula.

After Reading:

Ask students if they have any questions about Hugga Loula before you ask them a few.

Review what a character is. (The who the story is about – usually people or animals.) Ask who the main character is (Hugga Loula).


Then, write down on your whiteboard who the other characters are as well. (Dad, mom, brother Steve, the dog Lorenzo)


Review what setting is. (Where and when the story takes place.) Discuss: Where does Hugga Loula take place? (At Hugga Loula’s house; specifically, her bedroom, the garage, the kitchen, Steve’s bedroom.) 

When does Hugga Loula take place? What clues in the story tell you? (Sometime during the day, probably before lunch or supper.)

Call on a student to sum up the plot in the story. (The events that happen/take place in Hugga Loula.)

What are the three problems/conflicts/challenges in the story? (Dad can’t find his slip-joint pliers; mom can’t find her small saucepan, and Steve can’t find his favorite truck)

How does Hugga Loula help resolve the problems? (She gives each of the other characters a hug and then helps them locate their missing objects.)

What do you think is the overall theme of Hugga Loula? (Theme is the idea or message of the story. You may need to give the children a hint or two. (You could ask them, What do you think the author was trying to say about hugs? Answers will vary.)

Application: How can you apply Hugga Loula to your own family?

Story Elements Project Ideas:

Have the students draw/color a picture of when they needed a hug and someone gave them one.

Have the students draw/color a picture of when someone else needed a hug and they gave them one.

Have the students draw/color a picture of one of the story elements from Hugga Loula (setting, character, plot, conflict/problem, theme)

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