Empowering Writers

Toolbox: Narrative Writing

Narrative Writing


Side by Side Book Covers

Narrative and Expository Writing Samples Each year, I always begin with section one in my EW Expository/Opinion Guide focusing on author’s purpose and genre. Here is one of my most favorite lessons that I introduce when school begins and use it as a staple lesson throughout the year. As I change topics I am teaching […]


Get More Details! Activity – Narrative Student Sample

Halting the action is a great strategy to get kids to add elaborative detail to their writing. This activity highlights how to do so. Notice how this student answered the questions. The following activity is an example of a revision activity for independent practice and application of skills that have been previously taught. As you […]


How to Improve this Piece – Narrative Student Sample

This child was taught the Empowering Writers skills but has not used them all. Is this normal? Absolutely! It is very possible that your students will forget to apply all of the skills at once. Writing is a multifaceted task. It requires a lot of higher order thinking. Progress doesn’t happen overnight. We need to […]


Fully Elaborated Main Event – Narrative Student Sample

We’ve all had them. You know, the student that comes to you will a lot of writing talent? The author below is a prime example. But there is a misconception that advanced writers do not need a lot of instruction. This simply is not true. Whether struggling or not, every child needs to be taught […]


First Grade – Narrative Student Sample

One Day at the Beach The prompt: “The waves crashed against the sand. I plopped my pack down and spread out my towel. It was going to be a wonderful day. Just then…” “My little brother pulled the towel out from under me and I fell face first in the sand. The hot gritty sand […]


Revise This Beginning – Narrative Student Sample

Writing is a process, not a destination!  It’s very easy for us as teachers to get overwhelmed by the task of helping young writers improve. The challenge seems daunting at times. Take the pressure off of yourself to create perfect writers and replace your thinking to produce improving writers. Below is an example of a […]



“The Giant” – A Character-Problem-Solution Narrative

Narrative: The Giant Reading the book, The BFG by Roald Dahl, is one of my all – time favorite read alouds in class. The engaging story and sense of anticipation that is built up in this text along with the humor always gets my class begging for more. Of course we only have limited time […]


“The Big Hairy Giant” – Narrative Annotated Sample

Narrative: The Big Hairy Giant The student sample below showcases the use of the Magic of Three, a narrative skill that gives the reader a sense of anticipation or worry.  The value of suspense is that is keeps the reader reading. When I pick up a book to read out loud to my students, those […]


“Extremely Weird Adventure” – Narrative Annotated Sample

Here is a student sample that shows evidence of the ways students benefit from the use of graphic organizers (Narrative Writing Diamond), teacher modeling, guided practice, and the use of sentence starters to build vocabulary and fluency. Teachers often ask, “When do students stop relying on modeling and sentence starters?” I’d like to have a […]