Reading and Writing

Elements of Literature

Reading and Writing

Three Study Hints

Do you sometimes find it difficult  to understand some of your textbooks when you are studying? If so, here are three suggestions:

  • A good way to approach any work in Science (or any other school subject) is by first looking at any pictures, maps or diagrams and asking yourself some questions about them.
  • Look at some of the questions before you read the text. You can then try to find the answers in the text.
  • A third approach is to ask yourself questions about the topic to be studied – and then try to find out the answers in the text.

Here is some practice in this skill:

In pairs, make up two or three questions about the gas oxygen – things you want to find out about it. See if you can find answers in the text.


Wherever we go we must have air, for without it we cannot live. We need it at night when we sleep as well as during the day time. Men who go to the moon and deep sea divers have to take air with them in special containers.

Air has more than one kind of gas in it. The gas which is most important to us is called OXYGEN. About one-fifth of air is oxygen. When we breathe, we take some of the oxygen into our bodies. The oxygen meets our blood in our lungs. Our blood then carries the oxygen all over our bodies.

Fish  and other aquatic lives need oxygen just as we do in order to live. They take it through their gills. Fire also needs oxygen. What happens when you blow a dying fire? It burns brightly.

When you boil water, the oxygen leaves it. If you put a clean iron nail into a bottle of boiled water and cork it up tightly, it does not rust. If you put a clean nail into a bottle of ordinary water, it will be rusty after a few days. What can we conclude from this experiment?


  1. Does air have more than one gas in it?
  2. Which gas is important to us?
  3. Where does blood meet oxygen in our body?
  4. Do Fish need oxygen?
  5. What happens when you blow a dying fire?
  6. What happens when a clean nail is placed in ordinary water?
  7. Is there oxygen in ordinary water?

Discuss your answers with your teachers.

Skills Focus

How to Write an Outline

When you are studying, do you sometimes find it difficult to remember what you have read? It often helps to write the outline of what you have read. This means writing out the list of the main points or ideas in the text.

Your outline can be in form of short notes. Your notes should only be important and relevant points. Sometimes they may be just a few words – there is no need to write complete sentences.

When you write an outline, you do not write paragraphs. Usually you write a list or several lists of different points.

  1. Your outline should be in note form – only include important points
  2. Write your notes down in form of a list (just like this)
  3. Number your list
  4. No need to write complete sentences
  5. Use abbreviations, for example i.e. (that is), e.g. (for example), N.B. (Note well).

Literary Elements

Literary Elements have an inherent existence in literary piece and are extensively employed by writers to develop a literary piece e.g. plot, setting, narrative structure, characters, mood, theme, moral etc. Writers simply cannot create their desired work without including Literary Elements in a thoroughly professional manner

  1. Plot: It is the logical sequence of events that develops a story.
  2. Setting: It refers to the time and place in which a story takes place.
  3. Protagonist: It is the  main character of story, novel or a play e.g. Hamlet in the play Hamlet
  4. Antagonist: It is the character in conflict with the Protagonist e.g. Claudius in the play Hamlet
  5. Narrator: A person who tells the story.
  6. Narrative method: The manner in which a narrative is presented comprising plot and setting.
  7. Dialogue: Where characters of a narrative speak to one another.
  8. Conflict: It is an issue in a narrative around which the whole story revolves.
  9. Mood: A general atmosphere of a narrative.
  10. Theme: It is central idea or concept of a story.


Write down outlines from the above passage OXYGEN.

For more class notes, visit: