Lesson plan

Traditional Literature: Story Mapping

Students will learn how to identify story elements and create a short and sweet summary. They will fill out a graphic organizer and solidify their understanding by creating illustrations to show major plot points that they find themselves!
Need extra help for EL students? Try theProblem and Solution SummariesPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try theProblem and Solution SummariesPre-lesson.

Students will be able to recount fictional stories, highlighting the important story elements.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Somebody Wanted But SoThe Princess and the PeaStone SoupThe Three Little PigsLittle Red Riding Hood"Somebody Wanted" Prewriting Organizer
  • Tell students that a popular strategy for understanding stories is to figure out the main Problem, or the matter that needs to be resolved, of the story. The way the problem is fixed is called the SolutionOf the story.
  • Explain to students that finding the problem and the solution of a story can help us understand the characters' actions and the important events that take place in the story.
(10 minutes)
  • Read "The Princess and the Pea" to your students.
  • Fill in the Somebody Wanted But So (SWBS) graphic organizer, explaining why you're filling in the boxes as you go. Example row: "Somebody: The Prince, Wanted: To marry a princess, But: His mother doubted the girl that came in the night was a princess and put a pea under her mattress, So: The girl felt the pea under her mattress and married the Prince."
(15 minutes)
  • Ask your students if they can identify the problem and the solution from your SWBS graphic organizer. If they are struggling, guide them until they are able to find it.
  • Show your students "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" interactive story. Ask them to pay close attention to see if they can identify the problem and solution. Tell them that after the story they will assist in filling out the SWBS graphic organizer.
  • Ask for volunteers to help you fill out a teacher copy of the SWBS graphic organizer.
  • Have students brainstorm ideas for how they could illustrate each of the columns of the organizer.
  • Ask students if they have any questions on what they just did in the lesson.
(20 minutes)
  • Divide the class into pairs and distribute SWBS graphic organizers. Give them a new story and ask students to fill in and illustrate the story in the graphic organizer.
  • As students work in partners, walk around assisting partnerships that need help.


  • Pair students with another student who has a strong understanding of the concept so that they can assist them. You can also ask them lead questions that point to solutions in the SWBS graphic organizer.


  • Have them write a paragraph identifying the problem of the story and the events that lead to the solution using the SWBS graphic organizer. Select an additional text and assign "Somebody Wanted" Pre-writing Organizer.
  • Have students come up with a different solution for the story.
  • Use an interactive whiteboard to show an interactive story and display the graphic organizer.
(15 minutes)
  • Hand out the "Stone Soup" story and a graphic organizer to each student to fill in and illustrate individually. Have students write out what the problem was and how it was resolved.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students volunteer to present the illustrated and completed SWBS graphic organizer.
  • Review what the problem and solution is in a story and why it's important for students to know.

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