Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow
Skip main navigation

Thinking Tools for the Classroom

The learning doesn’t end with the story! Take a look at the following thinking tools to help students engage. When you think of activities around stories, you may think of class discussions around important topics and messages but there are many more activities students can engage in to enhance learning. Story Box Library offers a series of graphic organisers and thinking tools to help students:
© Story Box Library 2021
The learning doesn’t end with the story! Take a look at the following thinking tools to help students engage.
When you think of activities around stories, you may think of class discussions around important topics and messages but there are many more activities students can engage in to enhance learning. Story Box Library offers a series of graphic organisers and thinking tools to help students:
  • Make connections
  • Identify vocabulary and language
  • Develop comprehension strategies such as recalling, sequencing, summarising)
  • Develop critical reading skills such as identifying the author’s purpose, asking and answering questions, synthesising, comparing and contrasting.
Consider the following thinking tools.

T-Chart

A T-Chart helps learners visually compare and contrast or sort and categorise elements in a story, developing their ability to analyse a text.
Example of a T-Chart tool
Example questions:
  • Use a T-Chart to sort the information about microbes as factual or fictional. E.g. Do Not Lick This Book.
  • Complete a T-Chart highlighting the pros and cons of where Lizzie lives. E.g. Lizzie Nonsense.
  • On a T-Chart, make a list of brave and kind acts demonstrated throughout the story. E.g. The Ricker Racker Club.

Venn Diagram

A Venn Diagram is another great tool for developing the ability to analyse a text, particularly in relation to comparing and contrasting similarities and differences between elements within a text or between texts.
Example of a Venn Diagram tool
Example questions:
  • Use a Venn Diagram to show how the New Year is celebrated in Australia in comparison to other countries. E.g. All Through The Year.
  • Complete a Venn Diagram to show the similarities and differences between your house and Jodie’s. E.g. Silver Buttons.
  • Use a Venn Diagram to show the similarities and differences between the two teddies in the stories and what they mean to their owners. E.g. Teddy Took The Train.

Story Map

A Story Map is a great visual tool for identifying and summarising the important parts of a story, particularly narratives. It can also be used to identify the emotions experienced by the main character at different points in the story.
Example of a Story Map tool
Example question: After viewing the story ‘Too Busy Sleeping’ draw emotional faces to show how Eleanor felt during various moments throughout the story.
© Story Box Library 2021
This article is from the free online

Best Practice for Education: Professional Development Showcase

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education