Therapy Ideas

Make Your Own Story Visuals for ANY Book!

I love materials that are adaptable to a variety of levels and easy to make, and this one is both of those things!


In fact, this is SO easy to make that I’ll tell you how to make it AND use it in this post!

(1) The first step is to make a background using any visuals you would like. I made two: one with racing visuals, and one with just words. (ignore the Velcro on the second word one when you get to the Velcro part later on!!)

IMG_0218 IMG_0217

 (2) Write a basic beginning, middle, and end for the story in boxes as shown below:


3) To make the small pictures as shown in the picture above, all I did was copy the pages of the book at 50% reduced size and cut off everything put the primary image on the page. You might need to do a bit of trial and error with that percentage depending on the size of the page/picture of the book you’re using, but 50% worked well for me.

4) Laminate everything!! Cut out the text summary and the pictures, but leave the background visual (the racecar or words visual). By keeping the background one piece, you make it much easier to store and keep together!

5) Velcro, velcro, velcro! You can see some of my Velcro-ing above, but below you can see the backs of the moveable pieces as well. Velcro-ing like this makes the activity incredibly adaptable, as I’ll show you later on!

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Overall, for the Velcro, put a small Velcro square on the exact middle of the pictures. Then on the longer sentence strips, I put two pieces as shown above. Look at the pictures in the previous parts of this post to see how I Velcro-ed the rest (except please ignore the visual I pointed out earlier!!).

Okay!! Now you’ve got the product created. Below are some ideas of how you can use it:

The picture below is how it looks all put together, and how I store it:


 One obvious way to use this is to just remove the sentence strips from the mat and have your students arrange both the picture/sentences in order to describe the beginning, middle, and end of the story.


For your students who don’t need the picture support, you can have them match just the written parts of the story with what happened in the beginning, middle, and end.

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For your students who aren’t at that reading level yet, forget the words and have them arrange the pictures from the story in order! (this is why I redid the arrangement of my Velcro!) The pictures will stick perfectly on the story macrostructure mat as well!

IMG_0207 IMG_0208

Have your students match the pictures to the written text. For your non-readers, you could read the text aloud and have them find the corresponding picture:


Have your students do it all!! Mix up all of the pieces and have them match the picture to the text, and then the text/picture to the correct part of the story (i.e. beginning, middle, end).


This activity can easily be used for understanding story macrostructure, picture description, sequencing, retelling stories, narratives, and SO MUCH MORE.

Hope this has been helpful for you! I love how small this activity is, and how adaptable it can be for ANY book!

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9 Comment

  1. Reply
    Lauren LaCour
    November 11, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    So cute! I do the same thing with sequencing by copying the pictures in the book at a reduced size and have them match first, next, then, last. I LOVE the velcro idea though! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Reply
      November 11, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      Thanks, Lauren!! 🙂

  2. Reply
    Kelly Hungaski
    November 11, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    This is a great post. I love the idea of the velcro and how easy it could be to teach my families how to do this at home. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Reply
      November 11, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      Thank you!! That is a good idea, sharing how-to posts with families! I appreciate your comment 🙂

  3. Reply
    Shara Kuehl
    November 11, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Love this idea! I can’t wait to make something like it!

    1. Reply
      November 11, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      Great! I’d love to hear how it goes!! Good luck!

  4. Reply
    November 12, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    Great idea! I have some paint sticks that I was going to use for story retell, but this will be great for “beginning, middle, end”.

    1. Reply
      November 12, 2013 at 7:41 AM

      Thank you! I love paint sticks too! So many fun ways to do story retell & beginning, middle, end!

  5. Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 9:13 PM

    Thank you for sharing this! I made one of these to use next week in my VERY FIRST THERAPY SESSION as a first year graduate student. I’m excited & want to throw up all at the same time!

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