I have a section of their notes for "Elements of fiction" and we take the notes in the beginning of the year.
We also begin reading so I can make the connections - for example.
I started out covering character - types of characters, characterization - and conflict.
We read "The Interlopers" today, and I discussed conflict and characterization in reference to the story. I will have students come up with their own examples of each element to add to the bottom of the notes using whatever literature I used to demonstrate the element.
I know they understand them because I make them depend on the understanding to complete homework and essays and participate in class discussion. I don't usually test the elements directly, but I may pose a test question like - "How was Susie characterized?" We use the elements all year long - over and over.
In he last quarter, my students have to write a critical lens essay which tests their knowledge of these elements.
I don't call them 'terms', because it seems to diminish their importance and set them apart from the rest of what we do - like a disconnected vocabulary. I want them to see the elements as integral parts- 'what fiction is made of'
Poetric devices, on the other hand - I do most of those during the poetry unit, and we do a lot with both poetry and music to find them and understand them. I bring in music, they bring in music- it's like a big party
Other than a few old standbys, students are never again held accountable for these 'terms', so I don't emphasize them beyond out unit.