Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Map an Event

Jo Lynn Wiley
Santa Rosa District Schools


Want your students to have a strategy for obtaining pertinent information from print material? This lesson incorporates a graphic organizer to help students navigate a newspaper article. Students will learn to use the organizer to document information.


Interpret and use oral, print, or visual information for specified purposes.


-Newspaper articles cut from actual newspapers affixed to card stock and laminated. (Laminated articles can be used for years to come. It is important to select articles that are not too long and that answer the 6 questions asked in the Event Map graphic organizer.)
-Two transparencies
-Overhead markers
-Event Map graphic organizer (See Web links)
-Event Map checklist (See associated file)


1. Gather materials for the activity.

2. Make enough copies of the article you plan to use to model the lesson for each student in your class.

3. Make a transparency of the article you plan to use to model the lesson.

4. Make 2 copies for each student of the Event Map graphic organizer. (See Web links)

5. Make a transparency of the Event Map graphic organizer. (See Web links)


NOTE: This lesson assesses interpreting information given in a brief newspaper article. This lesson is designed for middle or high school ESE students functioning at the independent level.


1. Ask students what kinds of information can be obtained from a newspaper. List their responses on the board or overhead. If the students do not give news of the day or something similar as a response make sure that is one you add to the list. Tell the students that today they will read a newsworthy article and be sure to tell them the newspaper the article was obtained from. Go on to explain that they will learn a strategy to help them obtain the important information from the article and that this strategy is one they will be able to use with other forms of print material.

2. Distribute the Event Map graphic organizer to your students and display your transparency.(See Web link)

3. Read and discuss the 6 questions on the graphic organizer. The graphic organizer asks: 1) what happened, 2) when did it happen, 3) where did it happen, 4) who was involved in the event, 5) how did it happen, and 6) why did it happen? Explain that they will complete the graphic organizer only after reading the selected newspaper article. Ask the students to turn their graphic organizers over, face down, on their desks. If you think your students will be tempted to write rather than listen, collect the graphic organizers before beginning step 4.

4. Distribute the copies of the article you chose to model the activity to each of the students and display the transparency of the article on the overhead.

5. Choose a student to read or read the article to the class as they follow along with their copy.

6. Ask student volunteers to tell you what they think the important points of the article are and highlight these on the transparency. Only highlight the transparency copy of the article, students are not to highlight their copies.

7. Ask students to turn their graphic organizers over, face up, and return your Event Map transparency to the overhead. Reread the question, what happened. Ask students if we highlighted the answer to this question. If so, ask a student volunteer to answer the question, what happened and fill this in on the transparency and then have the students fill in the answer on their copy of the Event Map. If you did not have the answer highlighted, return the article transparency to the overhead and reread the article with the students and find the answer to the question. Once the answer has been found highlight the answer. Return the Event Map transparency to the overhead and fill in the answer and have the students fill in sheets. Circulate around the room to make sure the students have filled their graphic organizers correctly. Repeat this process until all 6 questions have been answered.

8. Discuss with your students that they should have a very good idea of the important points of the article from the Event Map alone and that they should be able to tell someone about the article we read using their graphic organizer. Model an oral summary of the article by using the Event Maps only. Tell your students that tomorrow they will have an opportunity to give an oral summary of a newspaper article using an Event Map.

9. Lead a discussion with students on why you chose not to have them highlight the important point s on their copies of the article. You want to lead them to the conclusion that they may have been tempted to highlight the entire article, rather than the important points and you wanted them to have practice in really looking for the important or pertinent information.

10. Collect the articles and graphic organizers from your students.


1. Review yesterday’s lesson on the Event Map graphic organizer using the newspaper article. Be sure to reread the 6 questions asked on the graphic organizer. Remind the students of how they needed to look for the important or pertinent information in the article. (See Web links)

2. Tell your students that today they will each have a different newspaper article that they are to read and they will be completing an Event Map graphic organizer based on their individual articles. Emphasize the importance of completing the graphic organizers completely because they will be exchanging the Event Maps, once completed, with a classmate and that student will give an oral summary of the article based on the information provided to them on the Event Map graphic organizer. (See Web links)

3. Distribute a blank copy of the Event Map graphic organizer to each student. Once again, reread the 6 questions asked on the graphic organizer. (See Web links)

4. Distribute the individual newspaper articles to the students.

5. Instruct the students they are to read their articles and then fill in the Event Map graphic organizers based on the information from their articles. Remind the students you will help them with any word(s) they are having difficulty pronouncing or that they do not know the meaning of if they ask for help appropriately. Remind students to be considerate and write neatly since a partner will be reading their work. Remind them to put their names on their papers as well.

6. Give your students time to work on the assignment while circulating around the room. As you are circulating have your copies of the Event Map checklist (See associated file) with you. You will need one for each student and this would be a great time for you to note on each student’s checklist the title of his/her article and the name of the student completing the graphic organizer and the student who will be the presenter.

7. Once the students have completed the written portion of the activity collect the completed Event Maps.

8. Explain to your students that the completed graphic organizers will be redistributed and they will receive another student’s graphic organizer. They are to read the questions and student responses and be ready to give a brief oral summary of the article.

9. After giving students ample time to read and collect their thoughts, call on them to give an oral summary of the Event Map they have received. As each student gives his/her summary complete the Event Map checklist. (See associated file)

10. Once all the summaries have been delivered collect the Event Maps and the articles.

11. Conference with each of the writers as to the results of the checklist based upon the oral summary and the written graphic organizer. Remember to read the student’s graphic organizer, as the presenter may have been nervous and left out pertinent information that the writer did indeed include. Help the individual student with any information they did not include on their graphic organizers.

12. Lead a discussion with your students on what a valuable tool the Event Map graphic organizer is when looking for the important information in print material. Ask the students to give examples of times the graphic organizer would be helpful to them.

13. Students should save the graphic organizers from both days for reference in completing Event Maps with future assignments.


Use a checklist to formatively assess the students’ oral presentations. (See associated file)

Teacher will conference individually with students after the oral presentations to discuss the completeness of their maps.


This is an appropriate pre-reading activity before reading the novel [Tears of a Tiger].

Draper, Sharon M., [Tears of a Tiger], New York: Simon Pulse, 1994.
Chapter one of this fabulous book is a newspaper article, however, I would only use the novel with high school aged students.

You have an opportunity in this lesson for some vocabulary development. I would discuss the spelling and the meaning of the word pertinent.

Web Links

Click on graphic organizers on home page, then click on Event Map under the Language arts Graphic Organizer column, next click on click here for the printable version to pull up your screen.
Event Map Graphic Organizer

Attached Files

This file contains the Event Map graphic organizer checklist.     File Extension: pdf

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