This is a simple strategy, but one I selected because I like how it maps out not only the story, but the figurative language within it as well.
Story Map is a simple strategy, but I like it because it helps students map out the story as well as figurative language. The strategy also incorporates several different aspects of learning. There is the artistic element—students are asked to draw their favorite part, main event, central character, etc. This integrates a visual side. There is also structure to the Story Map, helping students organize their thoughts logically, which assists in their breaking down and analyzing of the text.
My favorite part of the strategy is the challenge for students to look at descriptive words within the passage. This is a way to start introducing students to figurative language, which is a huge part of literature and writing. If students begin to identify elements of description, image, symbol, etc. they will begin to make meaning of how the author creates these descriptions. Then the teacher can help familiarize them with figurative language, such as simile or metaphor.
I thought that this map, though simple, is useful just because of its organization. I think I could use this in a younger classroom (middle school especially), but perhaps even in a ninth grade room where students are starting to become more familiar with figurative language.