Text Mapping to Find Literary Devices

I will be brief today …

This strategy can be used in so many ways. I prefer to copy the pages of the chapter and have the students line them up to create a scroll. textmapscroll

When used as a scroll, the student(s) can clearly see all the elements you want them to see.  When I taught in a traditional class setting I would create the scrolls, have the students grouped together, and give them my key. A key would indicate what literary devices or non fiction elements I wanted them to find and highlight.

But first comes the modeling.

Yesterday, as my homeschool students and I read aloud a chapter in The Book Thief, I stopped every single time I saw an element of fiction. We discussed, highlighted, and added it to our key. Today, I read the next chapter all the way through without stopping once. After reading, I instructed the students to go back to the first page of the chapter. I told them on each page what literary device I wanted them to identify. They were able to find them without fail. They highlighted once I confirmed, and then added their findings to their key.


Sometimes, as in the photo above, the students were asked to find a passage or paragraph where two literary devices were working together to create a great story. First, we can identify both second person point of view (purple) and dramatic irony (yellow) in the same sentence. I often wonder if authors do this intentionally so their work can be studied… or if they just instinctively write this way.  In the second passage (gold and green), we have imagery and foreshadowing coming together. This is how authors create stories we want to read. And now, when my students write their own narratives, they can look back to these mentor texts as strong examples. How can we be great writers if we aren’t first studying great writers? They go hand in hand.

Tomorrow, I will show you how we tie grammar into this strategy. It’s what I call “grammar charts.” It has been my experience to see really great creativity come out of this strategy. I’m looking forward to seeing how my homeschoolers tackle it tomorrow.

Until next time …