Graphic Organizers To Teach Parts Of A Story

Graphic organizers can help students make sense of stories.

Graphic organizers help bring structure and order to concepts found in nearly any school subject. Using such organizers can be an effective way to teach students of any age about the different parts to a story. These tools can focus on a single element of a story or provide a more high-level view of all parts of a story.

Beginning, Middle and End

Covering the essential elements of a story with younger students, such as first- through fifth-graders, requires relatively simple graphic organizers. For instance, a “story train” diagram uses the engine, middle car and caboose of a train to help identify the beginning, middle and end of a story. By associating these abstract concepts with concrete objects, younger students can make connections to help distinguish between the chronological components of a story.

Essential Elements

After teaching students the five basic elements of a story — the introduction, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution — use a graphic organizer that visually represents these elements to solidify the ideas. A common design includes a horizontal line (for the introduction) that slants upward to show the rising action, peaks (the climax) and then descends to the horizontal line. Students can identify the elements on either side of the peak from a specific story by writing a brief phrase along the line as it rises and falls in line with the story elements.

Other Aspects of a Story

Graphic organizers can be used to identify and describe important aspects of a story, including plot, characters and setting. By using a single chart, such as a word web, students can represent how these story components relate to one another. Alternatively, use a horizontal line to represent a crucial moral conflict within a story; students can place the individual characters at different points along the spectrum to indicate the differences between them that often cause a story’s conflict.

READ  What Is A Linguistics Graphic Organizer

Reading and Writing

Most story-related graphic organizers are multifaceted. A reader can use them to help make sense of a storyline; a writer can use them to help map out the progression of a story. Organizers such as storyboards, for instance, can be especially useful in the brainstorming or pre-writing stage of crafting a story. By getting every thought on paper and having the freedom to reorder, replace or reconstruct different concepts, students can move into the drafting stage with well-formed thoughts.