In conjunction with the previous reading series discussions, I have given some tips and ideas for enhancing reading instruction. One method that teachers can use to help children make more sense of what they are reading is to introduce students to story maps.
In the beginning teachers can model using a graphic organizer such as a map. The teacher can then explain to the students its usefulness and when it would be appropriate to use. The students can then practice using a map on their own.
Using a simple story map that describes a selection’s elements such as setting, characters, and plot can help students get a better understanding of what they read. The teacher can create the map with the class and fill it in together.
During the discussion the teacher will also discuss the main idea and the elements of the reading selection. The students can help fill in the blanks as the teacher writes. The teacher may choose to let the students fill in their own maps after an example is given.
Below would be a representation of a simple story map that a teacher may complete with a class after reading the story of “The Three Little Pigs”
Characters: Mother Pig, Three Brother Pigs, Big Bad Wolf
Problem: The pigs want to move out form their mother and must build a house of their own.
Event 1: First brother builds a house of straw and the wolf blows it down.
Event 2: Second brother builds a house of sticks and the wolf blows it down.
Event 3: Third brother builds a house of bricks and the wolf cannot blow it down.
Event 4: The wolf leaves.
Solution: The three brothers live in the brick house happily ever after.
Moral or purpose of the story: Using hard work can pay off in the end.