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Create Literary Maps

Students will create a detailed literary map outlining the storyline of a book they've recently read.

PROCESS:

  1. Invite students to watch the video that accompanies the article. Then display Andrew DeGraff's literary map for A Wrinkle in Time on a large screen. Encourage students to describe what they see. Zoom in on specific areas to examine the details they contain. If students haven't noticed the different colored paths, be sure to point out that each one tracks a character's movement throughout the story. 
  2. Have students select a book they've recently read. Instruct them to list all characters in the story. Then have them identify and write a detailed description of each key location. Finally, tell students to create a timeline showing when each character visited each location.
  3. Provide art supplies and large sheets of paper. You may want to consider using bulletin board paper. Allow students ample time to create detailed literary maps for their books.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to present their literary maps to the class. Encourage them to identify each location and point out details they included to help readers understand what happened at each place.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:    

Grades 3-4:
Select one book all students have read. As a class, identify places and characters and create the timeline. Then divide the class into small groups. Have one group create the background image for the literary map. Instruct that group to include a map key and a compass rose. Assign each of the other groups one location. Challenge students to be as accurate and detailed as possible. When all groups are finished, compile the information and add character routes to complete the literary map.  

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Have each group select a book. Instruct groups to identify important places and key characters in their story. Then have them create a detailed timeline of the action. Give groups time to create a background image and detailed close-ups of each location. Remind students to add route maps for each character along with a map key and compass rose so others can follow the action outlined on their maps.

Grades 7-8:
Assign each student a partner. Have pairs select a book that both partners have read. Instruct them to identify important places and key characters and then create a detailed timeline of the story. Encourage students to select a background design that not only helps readers follow the storyline but has significant meaning on its own. Then give them time to create detailed close-ups of each location. Tell students to add route maps for each character and a map key that will help others navigate their literary maps.

Grades 9-10:
Assign each student a partner. Instruct pairs to select a nonfiction book both students have read that ties in directly with something they are studying in another class. Then have pairs identify important places and key characters in their books. Challenge them to create an accurate and detailed timeline of the story. Encourage students to select a background design that not only helps readers follow the storyline but has significant meaning on its own. Give students time to create detailed close-ups of each location. Tell students to add route maps for each character and a map key that will help others navigate their literary maps.