Learning Scenario

Mapping out our Literature-Circle Novels (EMSB)

Graphic Novels (1)


In our literature-circle approach, students are given a choice of reading different novels. A suggestion is to use graphic novels, and ones where place is integral to the story. The goal is to have them map out the places mentioned in the story, while being as specific as possible. Students will learn to find and examine these places with the different tools available: they may need to do a fair bit of research; they can zoom in as close as possible to the locations in their novels, to look at what was close by, using the satellite and even street views to examine the terrain and the territory.

Note that it is also possible to map out the Author's locations and experiences before beginning or at any time in the process. View the separate learning scenario entitle Map your Author for more information, and for a sample map showing only author locations!

Procedure and Questions:
Students will first record the different places in their novel, and any other information about that place, on a Google/Powerpoint Slide document. A sample submitted by Jasmine on a novel by Stephen King is shown at right.

Students should considered the following questions: ​​

Where does the story take place?
For this question, several slides will likely be necessary, one for each place or as student feel makes best sense.)
How does the social context alter or contribute to the meaning of this text?
Students can choose to separate their answer to this question in a separate slide. And/or they can interpret this idea for each of the place slides, to better explain the effect of social context in that scene in the novel.
What perspective has the writer taken? Excluded?
Why did the writer write this text?
Again, for the above two questions, students could choose to isolate this answers to these points into separate slides, and/or devote sections of each slide (i.e. for each location!) to answering these questions as they apply in that particular scene/place.

Visit cartograf.learnquebec.ca and create an account if you haven't already, then sign in.
Note that when you first register, you might have to write a secret passcode (learn2map), as well as your own password choice.

Click to Create a map. Zoom in to an area large enough to contain the places in your story.
Click CREATE to actually create your map at that zoom and location, then title your map as follows:
‘Yourname, Your Story Name’

Using the ‘Points of Interest’ pins in Cartograf, student transpose the information on the slides onto the exact location they feel is appropriate. The choice of location is ultimately a personal choice and interpretation of the scene, and one that they can explain in the marker point's description too.

ELA Connections
This project was one of many Cartograf mapping scenarios designed and completed by students of Ruwani Payoe and Heather Morrison of English Montreal School Board (EMSB). To read more about their experience and how this project fit into their learning goals, visit Interactive Reader Maps in the English Language Arts Classroom.