STORY PYRAMID: A story mapping graphic organizer that requires readers to choose their words carefully
The Story Pyramid is a graphic organizer in which each line has one more word than the previous line, thereby forming a pyramid shape. Readers are guided to write:
- one word naming the main character
- two words describing the main character
- three words explaining the problem or goal
- four words describing one key event
- five words describing another key event
- six words explaining the resolution or conclusion
Readers have to choose their words carefully in order to convey the information in each line while adhering to the word restraints of the instructions. That’s why this organizer is best completed in pairs or small groups. The negotiations involved navigating the text and choosing the best words for each line lend powerfully to the reading process.
The great thing about this organizer is its flexibility. You can use it for virtually any narrative text. You can adapt it to different reading levels by increasing or reducing the numbers of lines. And, of course, you can make up your own rules. Will phrases or sentences be required or are strings of words acceptable? Is it okay to have one more or less word in a particular row? It’s up to you!