The phrase "elements" here refers to literary elements, a part of literary devices. Generally, these include a wide range of aspects used by an author in a work of literature. Some examples of literary elements are plot, characters, setting, chronology, structure, mood, tone, point of view, all the things that are non-optional parts of a story.
In addition, this novel uses several literary technique conventions quite extensively. Foreshadowing, irony, dialect and symbolism each stand out as heavily used literary techniques in Stockett's novel.
We see the use of dialect in the chapters--part of structure--narrated by Aibileen and Minny in points of view.
Dialect - the language of a particular district, class, or group of persons. It encompasses the sounds, grammar, and diction employed by a specific people as distinguished from other persons either geographically or socially.
Some of the objects that take on a symbolic value in this novel include Aibileen's teapot, Celia's mimosa tree, and Skeeter's satchel.
Dramatic irony is also a technique used in this novel. The book project is a great example of dramatic irony. This occurs when the audience along with one character (or set of characters)--characters are a literary element--is aware of certain information that other characters in the story are not. The book project is a dangerous secret for much of the duration of the novel, a secret which the audience is fully aware of but which Hilly and the town are not.