How to Make a Story Map

A story map is a list of events that occur in a story. While the reader is reading a story, they can add the events as they occur on a separate sheet of paper that can be used later as a form of reference. This story mapping process is very effective if the reader wishes to either retell a story or possibly write an essay on a story. The story mapping technique allows the reader to recall specific details of the story easier than if they had just read it and tried to memorize the details.


Story Map

Up here on the board, we have a story, and then a story map. This is a four-box story map, because it has four boxes. We’re going to read this story, and then write the first main event in the first box, the second event in the next box, the third one in the third box, and the fourth event in the last box. This provides a summary of what happened in the story.

If someone saw the story and thought, “I don’t have time to read all that,” they could just read what’s in the boxes and get an idea of what happened. We’re not including everything that’s written up here, because not everything up here is really important. We’re just writing the important stuff in the boxes.

Let’s go ahead and read the passage. “Felicia was riding her bike. She loved to ride, but sometimes she would go too fast. All of a sudden, she hit a bump. The bike swayed to the left and she fell down. She began to cry. ‘I’m hurt,’ she said. Her mother came running over and looked at her arm. ‘It looks like you broke it,’ she told her daughter. An ambulance came and took Felicia and her mother to the hospital. Felicia had to have a cast. After that, Felicia didn’t go as fast as she used to.” What was the first event that happened here? Felicia was riding her bike and hit a bump. That’s the first thing that happened.

Now, the second thing that happened is “she fell down”. The bike swayed to the left, she fell down, and she began to cry. Later, we find out that when she fell, she broke her arm. We can write all that as: She fell down and broke her arm. Now, there are some things here that we didn’t write. It says that the bike swayed to the left. We didn’t put that in there, because we’re just trying to include the important things. After she fell down and broke her arm, she went to the hospital and had a cast put on her arm.

That pretty much brings us to the end of the story, except for the last sentence. “After that, Felicia didn’t go as fast as she used to.” That’s where we’re going to write: Felicia didn’t go as fast after that. The purpose of the story map is to tell you what events happened in the story, but it also shows you how Felicia changed. Remember, at the beginning she rode her bike too fast, but, at the end, she didn’t ride her bike as fast anymore because she had fallen down and broken her arm in the past. That’s an example of how to create a four-box story map.

Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation

Last updated: 04/19/2018


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