Graphic Organizers III: “Comic Book” Story Sequencer

Share your thoughts! OneMicrosoft Word - Story Strip Sequencer.doc lucky commenter from this post will receive a $20 School Box gift card!

Graphic organizers allow students to display and organize their thinking concretely–whether they’re reading a novel or their history book. This three-part series will share a new (downloadable!) graphic organizer with each post.

In the two previous posts, we met The Stick Man and the handy dandy Story Map. This article is about a great tool called the “Comic Book” Story Sequencer.

This tool allows students to summarize and visually depict main ideas of a text or historical event. And, with children, there’s a lot of power in a name. By calling it a “Comic Book” sequencer, students automatically think it’s a blast! They don’t even realize that they’re sequencing, determining main ideas, synthesizing, using writing skills and visualizing.

How it works:

Each box on the chart represents a different main event. Students draw a picture summarizing the main idea of the chapter (or historical event or science concept). And in the rectangle at the bottom, students write a sentence summarizing the main idea.

For younger grades, this can be very simple: A simple drawing of the characters with a simple sentence describing the drawing.

For older grades, this exercise can involve more detail and synthesis: The drawings can be very detailed, and their summary sentences may need to include more than one main idea to encompass the important events.

When to use it:

  • As a study guide before a history test, to sequence major events.
  • As an organizational tool before writing essays (a different point or paragraph can be organized in each box).
  • As an assessment tool to see how well students understand the main ideas of each chapter in a novel study. The pictures also show you what a student is visualizing as they read. Additional sheets can be added for additional chapters.
  • At the beginning of the year: Have students make a comic strip about themselves, using major events from their own lives!

How to use it:

  • Download the graphic organizer here. Once students get used to using the organizer, they can draw their own versions on paper.
  • Model how to complete the diagram thoughtfully. Complete the first one together as a class, so students can see that you want thoughtful responses and detailed visualizations.
  • If students need more practice with the diagram, have them complete one on themselves, next.
  • Then, have students complete the diagram independently on whatever book or concept you’re studying.
  • Colored, detailed sequencers make great classroom displays for open house, too!

To download the story sequencer, click here.

Coming next on A Learning Experience: Fun poetry ideas!

Got a good graphic organizer idea? Share your thoughts! One lucky commenter from this post will receive a $20 School Box gift card!


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