May 26, 2014

Anchors Away 5.26.14: Story Matrix

I use many different visual teaching resources in my classroom. Some are traditional Anchor Charts while others are not. I'm not sure if this classifies as an Anchor Chart; it's called a Story Matrix. I decided to share it for Anchors Away regardless. A Story Matrix is nothing more than a chart made of butcher paper to organize or classify information about a story, non-fiction article, text, or novel. Whatever literary techniques or aspects your students are studying can be incorporated into the matrix. I've used these matrices for eons, literally!

Here you see one that my students constructed for "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George. We were interrupted so frequently by the extreme winter weather as we were reading this book that this was the only way that we were able to finally complete the book.

We had a little more than half the book completed. I divided the remaining pages of the book, except for the very last chapter, into four sections as well as the class into four groups. Each group was asked to read a particular section and report the characters, setting, plot, and predictions for their section. The groups then shared and posted their information in the matrix for all to see and use. Finally we all read the last chapter together, ending our study of the book. The matrix helped us collect our thoughts, make connections, and comprehend the missing material in our minds. What would've taken more than a week's worth of reading classes was reduced to just two days thanks to the Story Matrix.

Be sure to stop by Crafting Connections for more great Anchor Chart ideas.

Before you set sail, be sure to stop by this blog post for a chance to win two fun and engaging "games" that will help your budding scientists learn thirty of the most common elements. The giveaway ends tonight!


  1. Interesting! I use matrixes for other things, but never thought of doing it this way! Thanks for the idea!! :)

    Tales of a Teacher

  2. This definitely counts as an anchor chart! I love how your students worked cooperatively to create this anchor chart! Did you tell them to add the borders, or did that do that independently?? Thank you so much for linking up! Email me when you get a chance and let me know what craftivity you'd like me to send you! ( I'll be watching for your email!


  3. I have used something similar for comparing texts, but I really like how you divided the the students. This makes each group accountable for a portion of the book and allowed for cooperative learning. I love how students shared their thoughts with the class. Thank you!


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