What is a Story Map? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:01 What Is a Story Map?
  • 0:46 Why Use a Story Map?
  • 1:23 How to Use a Story Map
  • 2:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lindy Hatten

Lindy has a M.Ed in TESOL with a Cross-Cultural concentration from Saint Mary's College of California. She has taught for 25 years at the secondary and university levels.

A story map is a classroom strategy to assist students in learning the elements of literature. In this lesson, examples of various story maps will be shown, and we'll identify the strengths in each.

What is a Story Map?

A story map is a classroom approach to reading that uses a graphic organizer to help students learn the elements of literature as well as other subject matter. Just as a regular map can help us to 'see' the roads, lakes, and mountains around us, a story map can help us to 'see' the various aspects of a story.

But, how does a story map work? After reading any type of story, students are asked to fill in graphic organizers identifying characters, plot, and setting. There are many different types of story maps that can benefit various levels of learning. The simplest story map focuses on the beginning, middle, and end of the story. More detailed organizers focus on character traits or elements of plot.

Why use a Story Map?

A story map can be used at all levels of learning and in different subject matters. Elementary students studying setting, characters, and plot can map out the story to see the items visually. Upper level students can delve into theme or the motive behind the character's actions.

Story map for The Giver

Story maps can also be used to compare different novels, as in this example. The possibilities are endless. Student comprehension can improve with the use of this type of graphic organizer. Story maps provide a structured framework for students as they dig deeper into the elements of a story as well as the content.

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