Developed by Mark Halley

Competencies Addressed:  Discourse mapping; Comprehension: English discourse

Time Required for Activity: 60 mins


To create a discourse map of a video text explaining how to clean and cook with cast iron skillets.

In this video, a narrator from YouTube cooking channel Tasty explains how to clean and cook with cast iron skillets.

The activity in this post is based on:

Winston, E.A. & Monikowski, C.M. “Discourse Mapping: Developing Textual Coherence Skills in Interpreters” in Roy, C.B., ed. (2000). Innovative practices for teaching sign language interpretersWashington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press.


You will watch a video in which a professional chef from Tasty narrates how to clean and cook using a cast iron skillet. For this activity, you will be working with the segment in which the chef talks about cleaning the skillet.

  • What do you know about cast iron skillets?
  • If you are not a cast iron expert, consider doing an internet search to understand the basics of cast iron. Based on your research, what are some concepts the narrator might discuss?
  • What technical terms might she use?

Watch the Video:  Watch the video in its entirety. Did your internet search help you to predict some of the concepts the narrator discussed?

While watching the video, pay attention to the key points the narrator makes about cleaning and cooking with cast iron skillets

Create a Content Map

After watching the video, create a content map. The goal of the content map is to represent the key ideas and how they are related to each other.

Think about this as a procedural text which talks about steps.  How do you represent the sequential nature of the directions?

After you have created your own content map, go on to the next step to check your work with one sample of a content map.

If you want a map to get you started with analyzing the texts, click here. (Blank content map will open in a pop-up window.)

Check Your Work

The content map below was created by Doug Bowen-Bailey. It represents one way to represents the ideas.  Each column represents a major unit of the text.  The darker the color of the box, the larger the idea. Lighter shading represents more details.

Watch the Video Again:  Watch your recorded interpretation. Make adjustments to your original content map based on what you viewed and what you saw in the sample map.


What did you notice that was different between watching the video the first time and after you had done the content mapping exercise? Did you see the breaks between discourse units more clearly? Did you notice how the directions were sequenced?