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Narrative Writing Unit


Our first writing unit is typically narrative writing. I choose this because it allows students to delve into their imagination (or their own memories) rather than following the typical 5-paragraph essay format. It's also a great way to incorporate a review of parts of the plot since narratives must include this. It's also a form of writing that is somewhat less restrictive than most and allows students to let their creative juices flow.

These are the steps that have worked for my students:

#1- Students need to understand what a narrative is. In other words, what makes up a narrative. To show them all of the required elements, I share this anchor chart/poster with them.
Elements of Narrative Writing

#2- Introduce or review the parts of plot. I always display the plot diagram to demonstrate each element.
Plot Diagram
#3-  Introduce or review figurative language and sensory language. I do this prior to reading example narratives so that students can identify these while they're reading. Before they begin writing their rough drafts, I have them come up with examples of each type of sensory language (or at least 3) and the main types of figurative language so that they can either use the examples in their narratives or have a better understanding of how this can be done.
Figurative Language & Sensory Language

#4- Students HAVE to see examples- in my Narrative Unit, I wrote an example narrative for students to read. They then have to identify each part of the plot as they come across it in the story. See an example below. I also found a website called Rethink ELA that has tons of narrative examples for each grade level, as well as other types of writing. 

Digital Narrative Writing Example

#5- Brainstorm ideas for possible topics they can write about in their narratives using a brainstorming chart similar to the one below. I tell them to then choose the one that they think will work best when attempting to include all of the required elements.
Brainstorm Chart
#6- Begin writing your rough draft. Once students have written their rough draft, I either pair up students or allow them to pick a partner, and each student will do a peer review using the peer review/rubric that you can see part of below. Since it's digital (or printable), they can easily share with one another on Google Slides. You can access for free here! It is also part of my Digital & Printable Narrative Writing Unit.
#7- Write the final draft- Once students have completed the peer review, tell students to look over the feedback they were given, and make any necessary changes when writing their narrative. 

Click here to access my Digital & Printable Narrative Writing Unit.

How do you teach your students to write strong narratives? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.





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