Making a Story Map
Teaching students story mapping is easy with this Mrs. Wishy Washy lesson plan. If you are teaching this as an introductory lesson, make sure that the students are already familiar with the story. It also works well near the end of a week-long shared reading unit on the book.
Mrs. Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley (big book version if it's available)
- Chart paper
- Several large sheets of white or Manila paper
Read the story to the class. When you have finished, write the title of the book at the top of your chart paper. Underneath the title, write the word Characters. Tell the students that the characters are the important people (or animals, in this case) in the story. Ask the children to help you list the characters in Mrs. Wishy Washy on the chart paper. Then add Setting to your chart. Discuss what it means and add the setting of the story. Continue, adding Beginning, Middle and End to the chart. When you are finished, your chart will probably look something like this one:
Mrs. Wishy Washy, the cow, the pig, the duck
The animals get in the mud.
Mrs. Wishy Washy gives them all baths.
The animals all get right back in the mud.
Now write each of the story elements on a separate piece of paper. Divide the children into small groups and assign each group one of the story elements to illustrate on a piece of white paper. Depending on how many children are in your class, you might have two groups work on each part, so that you end up with two pages for each element. After all of the papers are finished, collect them and label the appropriate story element on each page. Then arrange them into a book (or two, if you made double pages). Display the book in the class to remind the children how they can use story mapping as a comprehension strategy when they are reading.
On another day, read a familiar story to the children and give them a story map to complete with the same story elements you included in your original story mapping book. You could also make five-page books with a story element written on each page and then have the children illustrate the books for the story you read.