SIS Primary Library

Mountainside, Shekou International School

Book Week Story Ropes!


Second and third grade students prepared for Book Week by creating story ropes.

Story ropes are a tool that help readers retell a story. In addition to retelling, we also included a visible thinking routine to our story ropes to help us communicate our own ideas. The visible thinking routine we used was developed by Harvard Project Zero. The thinking routine is called: Color, Symbol, Image.

Our end goal was to be able to effectively communicate to another student about a story that we know well. Students demonstrated that they could use the rope to retell and that it helped them communicate their thinking. At our Book Week assembly,  second and third grade students met up with a fourth or fifth grader and used their story ropes to retell and share their thinking. From the feedback I have received from students, thus far, it was a valuable experience to plan, create and share stories using this simple tool.

What are the papers attached to the rope? These are the colors, symbols and images that we think best match the story being retold. Using colours, symbols and images in this way helps readers create a type of metaphor for an idea or ideas from the story.

What are the knots? The knots represent the elements of the story being retold. Students touched each knot as they spoke about the following elements. The knots helped students stay organized about the elements and the sequence of events.

  • characters
  • setting
  • problem
  • event
  • event
  • event
  • resolution

Thanks for trying something new, grades 2 and 3! I enjoyed doing this project with you.
Ms. Livingston

Color (black and pink) Symbol (crown) Image (castle)


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