Narrative Writing

Narrative writing tells a story. Creative narrative writing has a plot, a setting (where and when the story happens), and characters who have motives (reasons) for what they do. Good narrative writing is more than a list of random events. It has a problem to be solved or a challenge to be overcome. There is a point to the story.

Nonfictional narrative writing is often used to recount a person’s life story, important historical events, or news stories. This is really a combination of narrative and informational writing, since its purpose is both to tell a story and to provide important facts and details

Narrative writing tells a story. Creative narrative writing has a plot, a setting (where and when the story happens), and characters who have motives (reasons) for what they do. Good narrative writing is more than a list of random events. It has a problem to be solved or a challenge to be overcome. There is a point to the story.

Nonfictional narrative writing is often used to recount a person’s life story, important historical events, or news stories. This is really a combination of narrative and informational writing, since its purpose is both to tell a story and to provide important facts and details.

NARRATIVE WRITING
K - 3

Narrative writing at the primary level can be understood by pointing out the elements of narrative writing in well-written literature books. Do lots of talking about the characters, settings, problems, solutions, plots and themes as you read aloud to your children.

The next stage is picture drawing. Have children draw a picture, then describe who is in the picture and what is happening. This can lead to drawing four part stories that show the beginning, two middle events and then the ending to the story. As children become comfortable with this activity, add the "Tracking the Tale" story frame included in this packet.

Children who are writing can develop their own story, but with the supportive "Story Organizer" or "My story Outline" to help them plan their characters, setting(s), and action/plot/sequence. "My Plan for Writing a Narrative Text" is another format designed to help children organize their thinking before writing.

Using the format of literature books is another method of getting started in narrative writing. Children can write their own version of familiar favorites like "Hansel and Gretel" or "Cinderella". This task can be made even easier by having children just write a new ending for an old favorite story.

At the primary level, the main consideration is developing the child’s confidence to share their stories and ideas using a comfortable format, whether it be dictating a story, drawing a picture, or writing on their own.

NARRATIVE WRITING
4th – 8th

Students will definitely benefit from some prewriting planning. The parent / teacher can help clarify the student’s thinking beforehand by asking a few questions about the plot, setting, etc. What is the point of the piece? What will happen? What details need to be clear so that the reader doesn’t become confused? Addressing these in the prewriting stage will head off many problems from occurring when it is time to write. Without prewriting planning, students often rush into their story without developing a thoughtful, logical sequence of events.

Some writing activities might include:

  • Compose and write an original myth or legend
  • Write an original short story
  • Expand a known story or rewrite a story’s ending to reflect a change in plot
  • Use original dialogue in a story (conversation)
  • Write an original ballad
  • Write a series of log or journal entries for a fictional character that relate a story or interesting episode in their life

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