FREE LANGUAGE ARTS LESSON – “Story Map… like a roller coaster”

by Keep Calm and Teach

3rd – 7th Grade


Story Map


Story Map- This story map is great for intermediate students who are working with more than the basic elements of plot. This includes areas for students to write the characters, setting, problem, rising actions, climax, solution, falling action, and the theme. It works really well with summarizing fiction.

When introducing this concept, I relate each element as to a roller coaster ride. (The visual of the inverted letter V helps kids remember this.) Before you get on a roller coaster, you must have the people (characters) and the place (setting). Then you’re all strapped in and getting nervous (problem). The entire ride to the top of the roller coaster is scary because of people screaming, getting higher and higher, and feeling the bumpy tracks (rising actions). Finally you get to the very top, and the ride becomes fun because you are able to relax and enjoy it (climax). At the end your fears are turned into excitement (solution) because you had fun. You learned that if you don’t take risks, you won’t have new, enjoyable experiences (theme). I know it’s kind of cheesy, but the kids really seem to connect to it and remember what each element really means.


If you’re interested in more language arts resources, here are some available in my store:
Fractured Fairy Tale Writing Project
Poetry Book Do-It-Yourself Set
Writing Center or Activity “Let Me Help You with That”
Literature Circle Mega Set (all materials)
Reading Log Complete Set- 12 Skills and Strategies

Book Recommendations Set {Students become Book Critics}
Guided Reading and Literacy Center Schedule Display

Here are a few other resources that you might like:

Candy Math: Fractions, Decimals, Graphing, …
Sticker Charts in Chevron Theme
Halloween Scattergories Game

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