Story Maps

A Story Map makes it easier to understand books and movies. How? By giving you a quick, easy way to write down where and when the story takes place, who the characters are, what happens to them, why they do what they do, and how they overcome their struggles.

Printable guide

small image of document
Click to download the printable guide


If you have a hard time remembering what goes on in a book or a movie, a Story Map is for you. It's a quick, visual way for you to write down the main characters in a story, how these characters are related to each other, and why they do what they do. Download and print the Story Map document (link above) and keep reading.

How to use the attached document

picture of a page from a story map

Page 1 is an overview of the document. It gives brief instructions and then shows a visual example of how to fill one out.

Page 2 is the actual Story Map:

Page 3 has a space for you to write down the settings (where and when the story takes place), and then the main plot events (things that happen in the story).

The back page has a more detailed example, to get a better example of how to complete an effective Story Map.

Make it yours

When you fill out the Story Map, keep in mind why you're doing it: is it for a writing assignment, for a class discussion, or for your own comprehension? Think about the way your own mind works, and try to take notes that you're sure you'll be able to recognize tomorrow or next week.

Use the blank spaces on page 2 to take any additional notes to help you understand the book or the movie as clearly as possible. after you start filling it out, ask your teacher if there's anything you can do to create a more detailed and effective Story Map.