Narrative Prewriting Activities
Students will be able to plan for a narrative writing project using various prewriting strategies.
- Discuss: What is an essay?
- Explain that an essay is a piece of writing focused on a central idea.
- Write the four main kinds of essays on the board and review each: persuasive/opinion, explanatory/informative, narrative, and descriptive.
- Touch on the features, structure, and purpose of each.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- Touch back on the idea that different genres, or writing types, have different structures.
- Ask students what they know about the structure of a story. They will likely share that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- Explain that narrative essays are stories, and they also have a central theme that communicates a bigger idea about life.
- Distribute the worksheet Narrative Structure: Prewriting.
- Go over the structure of a narrative essay. If your students have a topic in mind, they can tailor their responses to their idea.
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Explain that oftentimes narratives use a variety of language features, like interjections, ALL CAPS, dialogue, imagery, etc. Model these and other similar features.
- Distribute the worksheet Crafting Imagery.
- Go over this exercise together, pointing out the language features in the poem (interjection, ALL CAPS, imagery, etc.).
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Distribute the worksheet Exploding the Moment.
- Have students think about a topic for their narrative essay. It should be a story idea that has a theme that they can close with.
- It is best if the idea is based on an actual experience that they had. It’s easier to write descriptively if they have it in their memory.
- Go over the instructions and demonstrate the activity.
- Instruct students to complete the sheet independently.
Support: Use a moment from a novel you are reading or have read as a class for the example idea. Reference the text for details.
- Enrichment: Instruct students to write a paragraph of one of their "exploded moments."
- Pass out a half sheet of paper. Ask students to write the three parts of a narrative essay.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Discuss: Why do writers slow down the action in their stories at different times? How do they know when to slow it down? Can they share an example from a book they are reading?