Friday, July 8, 2016

Text Mapping Adventures - and a Freebie!

Text Mapping is a technique that can be successfully used to teach reading comprehension, writing skills, study skills, and course content. As an alternative to books, Text Mapping is completed on large paper scrolls.  Students take their reading and tape the pages together, creating a scroll that can be rolled out onto the floor.  This lets kids see the text in its entirety, instead of flipping through multiple pages. Having the entire text visible at one time, instead of just two open book pages, helps students to make connections across the lesson that they wouldn’t normally be able to make. Students are able to see the text as a whole, instead of focusing on individual parts.

To begin the activity, the first thing you need to do is gather a few pages of non-fiction text.  I usually use a photocopied section of our Social Studies textbook, on a unit we are about to cover.  This is a great pre-learning activity, as it allows the kids to work with the text for a bit before we begin our unit.  This time, I used a few pages of informational text that I had previously typed up, relating to Archaeology.  Our textbook doesn't go into enough depth on this topic, so I usually use this as supplemental reading.  It worked perfectly for this activity.

After you have gathered the pages you want to use, simply tape them all together into a long scroll.  You can have your students do this, or you can do it yourself before class starts to save on time.
After creating their scroll, students use a variety of different colored pens and highlighters to mark up the text in ways that are relevant to their reading purpose.  The strategies students use to map the text are similar to the ones they would use while close reading.

A big perk of Text Mapping is that it is a reading strategy that is easy to learn and implement, and also requires very few materials.  All the supplies you need for a successful lesson are a few pages of photocopied non-fiction text, some tape, and some colored pens and highlighters.  
According to, there are 7 key benefits to using text mapping in the classroom.  

1)  Scrolls and Text Mapping are explicit - teachers can model comprehension strategies so students can see exactly what comprehension looks like and how it is achieved.

2)  Scrolls and Text Mapping teach students to be strategic readers.

3)  Scrolls and Text Mapping encourage students to develop active reading skills - students must move around the scrolls and mark up the text.

4)  Scrolls and Text Mapping enable comprehension to be linked directly, explicitly, and concretely to the text - this ensures that comprehension will be reliable, accurate, and complete.

5)  A text map is a traceable visual record of an individual's thought process - you can see exactly where the thinking is happening.

6)  Scrolls and Text Mapping accommodate a wide range of learning styles.

7)  Scrolls and Text Mapping can be particularly helpful to individuals who have learning disabilities or attention deficits - scrolls are more accessible to a greater range of senses and learning abilities.

If you are looking for additional information on this fun strategy, I highly suggest you check out  There is a ton of great information!

Interested in trying this out in your classroom?  All of the resources I used to complete this activity are available for free from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  The package includes information on what text mapping is, a step by step guide for using it in your classroom, a non-fiction article with questions that can be used for text mapping, and several different variations of activities for students to use while text mapping, suitable for both elementary and middle school students.  If you decide to use it, please leave me a comment and let me know how it works for you!

Do you use text mapping in your classroom!  Leave me a comment and tell me all about it!

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