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First Grade: Story Mapping using “The Snowy Day”

Written by Heather



Standard 1.RL.3- Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Materials:  “The Snowy Day” book by Ezra Jack Keats

Pre-made story map on chart paper

Sticky notes to add to the story map for characters, setting, problem, solution and theme

Story Map:

Practice:  Tell your child that you are going to read, “The Snowy Day.”  Tell him/her that he/she will need to be able to point out the important characters, setting, problem, solution and theme in the book.  Tell your child that you already know that Peter lives in a city.  So, on a sticky note, I’m going to write “A city on a snowy day” and place that on the spot for setting on this story map I’ve made.  Tell your child that when you are done reading the story, he/she is going to help you fill out this giant story map.

As you are reading aloud, stop periodically and ask, “Who are the characters in the book?” and fill out the sticky note and place it on the correct spot on the story map.  Then ask, “What is the problem in this story?” “What is the solution?” “What is the theme?”  By the time you have finished reading the book, the story map should be filled up.

Give your child his/her own story map to work on.  He/she will draw out pictures of the main characters, setting, the problem, solution and theme.

Check for clarity and hang on the refrigerator to share with the rest of your family!


 Creative Commons-licensed photo provided by ckaroli.



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About the author


Originally from Saratoga Springs, NY. Heather received my Bachelor's in Elementary Education PreK-6 from SUNY Plattsburgh and my Master's in Literacy Education from The College of Saint Rose. After completing graduate school, she accepted a job teaching at Wendell Creative Arts & Science Elementary School in Wake County, North Carolina. There, she taught fifth grade for three years and third grade for a year. Heather was also involved in after school tutoring and after school care where she worked with students K-5. Heather moved back to the area to be closer to my family as it expanded after my niece and nephew were born so that she could be a proud and active Aunt. She spent the 2010-2011 school year substituting in grades K-7 in Saratoga, Schuylerville, Greenwich, Glens Falls and Ballston Spa school districts. Heather is an Education Officer at Premier Transmedia and now a writer for Plaza Familia!

  • Sandy

    I never heard of this book before but I must say that it is fantastic! We loved the story and Peter is a great character and the whole story is just great, it shows multiculturalism from a really understandable perspective for kids and I believe that the mapping excercise was just very fun to do since it was not just “like a test”