Sketchy Story Structure [Printable]


It all started when my son was looking over my shoulder as I was reading Scott Torrance's tweet about why he chose the movie "UP" to be featured in Mike Rhode's The Sketchnote Workbook. He was immediately intrigued that an adult would be drawing notes about a kids movie, and that prompted a whole discussion, using Scott's drawing as a reference, about story structure.




Scott Torrance, as featured in The Sketchnote Workbook

I really liked how Scott plotted the plot over what looks to be a hill, which of course represents the rising and falling action of the story. After digging around on Pinterest I came across the idea of a story mountain, and the "Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then" strategy for summarizing stories.  I sketched out a simple graphic organizer, which you can download to use with your own kids (or classes).  The way the organizer is laid out it leaves room for those kids who want to sketch out story elements, but is also fine for kids who'd just rather write out the plot points. 

The story mountain starts off with a little hook, because that is the part of the story that is meant to "hook" the reader so they'll come along for the ride. I also added a "whats the point" so that learners  had somewhere to put the moral of the story or the author's purpose. 






The components:

Somebody- Who is the main character (antagonist)?
Wanted- What did the character want?
But- What is the problem?
So- How did the main character try to solve the problem (resolution)?
Then- How did the story end (conclusion)?

What's the point- What is the moral of the story or the message the author wanted you to take away?
Extra Resource:

I just so happened to listen to this podcast tonight and it's an interesting introduction into why/how to go about discussing stories with your children and how easy it is to teach them to identify the elements of a plot.

Read-Aloud Revival: Episode 2


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