Analyze A Short Story With Graphic Analyzer

Graphic organizers can be used to teach reading comprehension.

A graphic organizer is a pictorial illustration of a statement. The objective is to arrange information and study relationships. It helps students learn quickly through visual learning. Seemingly complex information is presented in a compressed, simple-to-understand manner that improves long-term recall. It can be printed or prepared freehand. You can add colors or images to improve visual display and readability.


1. Design a KWL chart to help students research short stories and prepare for tests. A KWL chart is usually divided into three columns labeled “What We Know,” “What We Want To Know” and “What We Learned.” Additional columns can be added depending on the particular study. In analyzing short stories, a column is inserted before the first column and is labeled “Narrative Elements,” which contains point of view, characters, setting, tone, mood, plot and theme.

2. Teach students to use a Venn Diagram. A Venn Diagram is created with at least two overlapping circles. In a short story analysis, it is used in comparing and contrasting story elements. The overlapping circles contain the similarities, while the circles that do not overlap contain the differences. Take the story characters, for example. When comparing and contrasting the characters, distinct personalty traits of one character will be placed in one circle, while distinct personality traits of another character would be placed in the opposite circle. Personality traits that were the same between the two characters would go in the middle, overlapping parts of the two circles.

3. Draw a fishbone map. A fishbone map is used to illustrate a complex topic that requires a lot of specific details to be enumerated. It is somewhat similar to a spider or a star map, where there is a main idea supported by more specific ideas. In a short story, a fishbone diagram is used to analyze the who, what, when, where, why and how.

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4. Utilize a story sequence chart. There are various ways to illustrate a story sequence. A sectioned chart intended for primary-level students is used to help the students distinguish the beginning, middle and end of stories. There is also a chart to help the students remember and organize story elements like the setting and the events that took place. Then there’s another chart that allows students to outline a story and help them identify problems and solutions.