Lesson 7 - Reading Techniques for Adult Basic Education (ABE) Learners Illinois State Library

Story Mapping

Page 7 of 9

Story mapping is a strategy used to help new readers focus on the important ideas in a narrative. Most stories have a common structure. This structure is the problem-solution text pattern in which characters interact with each other and events take place in a specific setting. There is a main character with a goal who tries to reach that goal throughout the story. At the end of the story, the main character may or may not be successful and has feelings related to his success or failure. When adult readers are reading stories, instead of concentrating on questions about the story, tutors may want to use this visual strategy to illustrate important points.

Guide for Using Story Mapping



Read the following story and then complete the story mapping activity. A printable Story Map template is available from this website.

The Hare and the Tortoise

— A fable by Aesop

The hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals.

"I have never been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me."

The tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge."

"That is a good joke," said the Hare; "I could dance round you all the way."

"Keep your boasting till you've been beaten," answered the Tortoise. "Shall we race?"

So a course was fixed and a start was made.

The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise cross the winning line. The Hare could not run fast enough to catch up and win the race.

Then the Tortoise said, "Plodding wins the race."

Story Mapping - Reflective Activity

Take a minute to reflect on the story mapping strategy.

  1. What benefits do you think this strategy will have for adult learners?
  2. How can you use this strategy in a tutoring session?

Compose an email to your trainer. Put the title Story Mapping - Reflective Activity in the subject line. Copy and paste the questions into the body of the email. Then type in your answers and send it. Completing this assignment is a requirement of your training. Your trainer will respond to you through email.