This lesson should take place once students have finished reading the novel "April Morning" by Howard Fast. Students should be comfortable completing computer word-processing and should be able to read closely longer pieces of literature. This activity can be used as a whole class activity, if the resources are available. Otherwise, this activity can be done by fewer students in rotating centers to accommodate for limited resources. This lesson is intended to help students process and prepare after reading but before writing.

Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

    • Students will create four story maps for “April Morning.”
    • Students will understand key characters, conflicts, resolutions, and the setting of the novel.
    • Students will apply close-reading, comprehension, and analytical skills to their maps.


Guiding Question:

    • How does the novel’s main character interact with other characters and the setting?
    • What are the main conflicts and resolutions of the novel?
    • What impact does the novel’s setting have on the reader and on the story itself?

Computers with internet connection for online story mapping, “April Morning” text for students to refer back to, printer (optional).


1) Introduce the website that the students will be creating their story maps from,

2) Pass out the assignment rubric, as well as story maps complete with further questions to supplement website prompts.

3) To demonstrate use of the online resource, I will guide the students through an example where we will create a story map for a movie (like Pandora or Toy Story) that the majority of the class will have seen.

4) Have students begin work on their individual story maps, beginning with whichever of the four they would like, eventually completing all four.

5) Answer questions for whole class and move about room checking progress and providing limited assistance.

6) When students have completed each story map, either have them print their maps off to turn in, or, if a printer is not available, have them take screen shots and email them to the instructor’s email.

7) Collect completed maps by collecting the print-outs or accessing screen shots through email. Grade according to rubric previously provided to students.


Use the story mapping rubric to grade student maps and provide feedback, positive or negative, alongside the final grade.

Answer Key or Rubric:

See attached file for supplementary story mapping prompts which give students more details for their responses. The file depicts screen shots from the website the students will be using with instructor-created prompts inside the text boxes students will fill in with their own information.

Benchmark or Standards:

Standard: Fiction - The student identifies, analyzes, and applies knowledge of the elements of a variety of fiction and literary texts to develop a thoughtful response to a literary selection.

Benchmark Number: LA.

Benchmark Description: The student will locate and analyze elements of characterization, setting, and plot, including rising action, conflict, resolution, theme, and other literary elements as appropriate in a variety of fiction.

Grade Level: 7

Subject Area: Reading/Language Arts

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