5W Chart

Here’s another one of my versions of a popular teaching tool–the 5W chart. It’s usually used to help students keep track of a story or news article by filling out the who, what, where, when, and why of the story. Especially helpful for beginning level readers, it can also be used for advanced readers doing dense and difficult texts. The questions break down as:

  • Who did it?
  • What did they do?
  • Where did they do it?
  • When did they do it?
  • Why did they do it?

Some people add “How” but that usually gets tangled up in “What”. And of course, not all stories are going to have answers to all those questions. I like to follow up by having students note which information the article is mainly about. Is it an article or story about an event (WHAT) or a person (WHO). MAybe it’s a portrait of a place or a time.¬†An editorial might even focus on WHY more than the other questions.

While this is primarily meant as a reading tool to help students break a reading down, it can also serve as an outline for writing.

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