Mapping Out a Narrative Piece

The easiest writing genre to tackle is narrative writing; my students love to write it, and I love to teach it. When I teach my students how to write narrative, I tell them to “map it out.” Here is a basic narrative writing outline with guiding questions:

  • Beginning: Who are the characters? Where does the story take place? The characters and setting are found in the exposition.
  • Middle: What is the problem? This is known as the conflict; it can be external or internal or both. This is known as the rising action.
  • End: How is the problem solved? This is known as the resolution or the denouement
  • How are you going to hook your reader? How are going to get your readers interested in your narrative?
  • It’s all in the details: How can you add imagery to your narrative? What word choices can you make to make it more interesting?
  • How are you going to end your narrative? Writing “the end” just won’t cut it.

Writing narratives takes many forms. The writer can choose to write about his own experience or the experiences of others. Writers can choose to write about literature. The most popular forms of narrative writing are short stories, novellas, novels, and narrative poetry.

Students talk in narratives; they love to tell their personal stories orally, so it only stands to reason that students would naturally gravitate toward narrative writing when given a choice. It is also important for students to focus their writing on others. By writing about the experiences of other people, students learn to appreciate others’ views and experiences.

Writing narratives about a particular book or story encourages students to think like the author. learning to write well is directly related to reading. Students are encouraged to put themselves in the author’s shoes. Book reports and reviews come from outside the book, but narratives come from within. The most popular form of narratives in response to literature is probably writing a summary of the text.

Students love to write stories~the sillier and crazier the better. The best way to teach the elements of a story is to have the students write one. It can be as simple as posting a prompt up for the students that encourages them to write text that incorporates the narrative elements. Giving them the opportunity to share that story with an audience just makes it that much sweeter.

Journals are a great way to build writing fluency. Students need tolearn ot explore themselves through writing. There are different types of journals for students to explore: double-entry, problem-solution, and partner journals.

Encourage the writers around you by challenging them to write narratives. Because it the most accessible type of writing, beginning writers will be more willing to take the challenge.

*Like all my featured images, I created this chalkboard using Corel Lite. Then I enhanced it in PicMonkey.

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