Literacy 7-12

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Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Story and Concept Maps

Story and Concept Maps


Providing a story or concept map prior to lessons or having students create their own maps during or after reading helps learners identify and organize key elements of a text. These maps visually highlight and organize important concepts to support reading comprehension and Disciplinary Literacy. Visually organizing text can help students retain information and meaning in their Short- and Long-term Memories.

Use It in the Classroom

At 3:40, watch how these sixth grade teachers introduce a story map and how it can support comprehending and remembering the story. Through questioning, the teachers orient the students to the important details of the story like characters, setting, problem, and solution.

  • For students in middle and high school, story and concept maps can be used to preview elements of text, including the setting, characters, and important Vocabulary, activating relevant Background Knowledge. Teachers should also support students in creating their own story and concept maps with scaffolds, such as premade map organizers and modeling to ensure understanding.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    See how digital products, like Popplet, can allow learners to create complex story and concept maps to visualize and enhance their learning. Through the creation process, learners create, write, draw, and organize information from a text into meaning with a dynamic graphic organizer.

  • Product developers can provide flexible, interactive, and adaptable story maps and graphic mapping organizers to allow learners to organize the texts they read and share them with others for feedback. This may relieve some of the cognitive load from Working Memory, so readers can focus on comprehension.