The Scottish Storyline®Method

Great Articles about the Storyline Method . . . . . .

    How the Storyline Method came to be

    Integrating Curriculum

    The Topic Web and the Storyline Method

    Answers to Questions about the Storyline Method 

    Why the Storyline Method Makes Sense

    It’s the Principle of the Thing

    Dragons vs. Elephants



The Topic Web and the Storyline Method                                         << Previous | Next >>


The Topic Web is one design for thematic interdisciplinary studies.


The Thematic Approach

If teachers have had practical experience with curriculum integration, very often it has been with the Topic Web or the concept of thematic interdisciplinary studies. This model has at its center a target theme, issue or problem which can be called its organizing center. From that central topic a number of aspects are studied. A common way of illustrating this is the wheel diagram which is shown below.


With flight as the organizing center, students explore it in relation to social studies, science, music, math, etc. When one aspect of the topic has been exhausted, the learner returns to the central theme and embarks on the investigation of another aspect. Integration becomes translated as a series of random forays into subjects whose common factor is something, or anything, to do with the key idea.



Interdisciplinary Concept Model as illustrated in Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Design and Implementation, Edited by Heidi Hayes Jacobs, ASCD, 1989.


The Storyline Method is another approach to curriculum integration.


The Storyline Method

An innovative approach to curriculum integration is the Storyline Method. This method crates a context for curriculum linkage through a topic study called the Storyline. The essential elements of the Storyline topic are setting, characters and events. The unfolding narrative provides a structure and logic to curricula connections. The difference between thematic studies (or Topic Web) and the Storyline Method is the presentation of key questions. It is random in a topic web whereas the sequence of the investigations is all important in the Storyline Method. Each Storyline episode is dependent on the preceding one. The following diagram adapted from an illustration created by Mr. Ian Barr, provides a graphic explanation of the Space Abduction Topic Study using the Storying Method.




Adapted from the topic study diagram as illustrated by Mr. Ian Barr, Director, Curriculum and Evaluations, Glasgow, Scotland

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