Story maps are used to improve students’ overall writing performance and to build writing word fluency. This intervention uses a story map with guided questions to help students facilitate writing ideas, as well as teacher feedback to promote writing performance. This intervention is most effective for students who are struggling in writing, especially in organization and written expression. This intervention can also work well for students with learning disabilities in the area of writing.
Student Journals (individual student notebooks)
Story Map Chart Handout (attached)
Story Map Questions Handout (attached)
Obtaining Baseline Data
To obtain baseline data, provide students with a writing journal and pencil and have them write a story based on prompts used on three different occasions to obtain three data points. Show students a picture or read a portion of a short story to them. Then, instruct students to generate a story based on the picture or a continuation of the short story. Give students 15-20 minutes to write in their journals. No feedback or prompts are to be provided to students except explaining that they will not be graded on mechanical errors. Record word count per each journal entry and grade according to overall writing performance (use regular grading criteria for writing assignments). After the baseline data have been collected, plot the data along with the goal line on the chart and maintain weekly progress monitoring data the same way and record on the graph.
Step 1. Have student choose a picture or short story or teacher provide student with one. Teacher explains picture or reads short story to students.
Step 2. Show generic story map chart (attached) to students and explain components of a story to the student. Explain how each component relates to one another to compose a well written story.
Step 4. Teacher models use of story map by writing down ideas for the students.
Step 5. Allow students 15-20 minutes to write their own stories based on ideas generated in the group. Give feedback to students regarding their overall performance, strengths and weaknesses (excluding mechanical errors) as well as positive encouragement.
Step 6. After 4-5 sessions of teacher modeling use of story map (Phase 1) introduce the story map questions handout (see attached) to students and verbally explain it to them.
Step 7. Guided with the story map questions, students are to facilitate their own ideas for story planning. Teacher wrote down their ideas and students refer to these while generating their stories.
Step 8. After 4-5 sessions of teacher modeling the story map questions (Phase 2), teacher stops modeling the story map for the students. The students are then shown a set of pictures or read a short story and are asked to fill in their own story map using the story map questions as a guide.
After each writing session, record word count and overall writing performance grade (using same criteria as in baseline data collection). Review the progress monitoring data each week. If the progress monitoring data points are below the goal line three weeks in a row, the intervention plan needs to be reviewed to determine if changes in the intervention or goal need to be made.” To assess implementation, teachers are to fill out the Intervention Implementation Checklist (attached) 3-5 times throughout the intervention period.
This intervention was designed as a Tier 2 intervention, but could be used as Tier 2 or Tier 3 if desired. Story mapping can also be used to increase reading comprehension, in which the map serves as a guide to help students organize their thoughts about what they just read and identify the main points of a story/lesson.
Li, D. Story Mapping and Its Effects on the Writing Fluency and Word Diversity of Students with Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities Worldwide.
Gardill, M.C., & Jitendra, A. K. (1999). Advanced Story Map Instruction. Effects on the Reading Comprehension of Students with Learning Disabilities. The Journal of Special Education, 28, 2-17
Intervention Implementation Checklist-Group Story Mapping
An appropriate picture or short story was chosen
for students to generate essay from YES NO
Students were shown generic story map chart and explained components
of a story and how those components relates to one another YES NO
Teacher (or implementer) worked directly with students to generate ideas,
brain-storm about characters, events, outcomes, problems, solutions, morals,
and outcomes of the story YES NO
Teacher (or implementer) modeled use of story