"Grammar Mapping is a Breeze!"


Reading to Learn

By: Amber Dunlap


Rationale: According to Pressley, struggling readers may not possess knowledge of story grammar structures. If readers are given instruction in story grammar structure, and its use, their comprehension and memory will improve. In other words, children do not know how to point out the important parts of a story. When modeled and guided in how to set up story structure, to find important points in the story, they will learn how to do this independently. This can become a strategy that they can use independently when reading stories, to help them build comprehension. I will use story grammar structure to show students how to pinpoint important parts of the story. I will tell what type questions to ask in order to find the important points in the story. They will practice by asking themselves questions during silent reading, and after reading, they will make story maps using the "Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then" chart.


Materials: Pencil, paper, "Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then" Chart (one for each student), Copy of I Want My Hat Back, Copy of Leonardo the Terrible Monster, smart board



1.     I will say, "Today we are going to learn about the importance of story grammar and how to map it! What do you think story grammar is? (Allow students enough time for them to answer and ask leading questions if they do not seem to know the correct answer.) That's right! Story grammar is an important part of reading. It tells us things about the story that is important. It helps us find out who the story is about, what the problem is, and who solves the problem. It helps us to better understand a story's characters and what is happening in the story."

2.     Say: "Now, I am going to read you a passage example on the smart board. I want you to read along as I read the passage aloud. I am going to use my "Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then" chart as I read. As I read I will think about whom the story is about, what the character wants, what the problem is, how the character solves the problem, and what the resolution is to the problem. I will model to you how I am going to do this to help me write my story map when I am done. I will model how to delete unimportant information and pick out important details. Let's begin by reading I Want My Hat Back!"

3.     Now saw: "I noticed that the main character is the bear. So I will fill that into the "Somebody" section on my chart. Next, I noticed that the character wanted his hat. That will go in the "Wanted" section. The problem was that he could not find his hat. That will go in the "But" section. Now you help me fill in the rest of the chart. How did the bear solve his problem? Right! He went searching for it and realized the rabbit had stolen it! Let's place that in my chart in the "So" section. What was the resolution to the story? (Discuss what resolution means.) You're correct again; the bear ate the rabbit and got his hat back! We can now write a short story map of the book using our chart."

4.     "Now I'm going to give each of you your own chart. We are going to read Leonardo the Terrible Monster as a class on the smart board and you will follow along. This is a story about a monster that just wants to scare people, but he's just not scary. But then he finds the most scardy-cat kid in town. Do you think the monster will scare the boy? Let's read to find out! As I read I want you to follow along and pay attention. I will give you time at the end of each page to jot down important information on your chart in you need to so that you do not have to write while I'm reading."

5.     I will then read the book to the class using the smart board for them to follow along. I will allow time at the end of each page for them to jot down their notes. After the story I will allow the students to answer the questions on the chart aloud. I will then say: "By making this chart we can now conclude that Leonardo wanted to scare someone very badly but he couldn't because he was not a scary monster. So he decided to scare a nervous little boy and makes him cry but he realizes that scaring people isn't as fun as he though. He decided to instead become friends with the boy."


Assessment: I will take up each student's chart after we have finished the lesson to make sure they understand summarizing. Students who seem to need help will be pulled aside to get further practice during small groups.




Dykes, Crystal. Story Grammar Hammer Time - http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/doorways/dykesrl.htm


"Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then" Chart – http://teachingsuperpower.blogspot.com/2012/07/summarizing.html


I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen. Walker Books Ltd. 2012.


Leonardo the Terrible Monster, by Mo Willems. Hyperion Books. 2008.


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