Narrative writing…you’ve heard the term, you’re expected to teach your students how to write a narrative story or personal experience narrative, you’re given rubrics that describe and define what the state sees as effective examples of the successful narrative.
But what is narrative writing? What are the salient characteristics of a successful narrative? What about author’s purpose and audience? Character/problem solution vs personal experience? What specific skills must the author possess? And, beyond all this, the big question is, why is it important to teach narrative writing at all?
Narrative writing can be broadly defined as story writing – a piece of writing characterized by a main character in a setting who encounters a problem or engages in an interesting, significant or entertaining activity or experience. What happens to this main character is called the plot. The plot follows a beginning, middle, and end sequence. The middle of the story is the largest, most significant part, which we call the main event. The main event is really what the story is all about and involves either a problem to be solved or a significant life experience for the main character. Authors write narrative stories in order to entertain an audience of others – this is calledauthor’s purpose. Click here for more on the types of narratives.
Authors of successful narratives are well-versed in the following skills:
The tools and strategies for teaching the above skills can be found in Empowering Writers Comprehensive Narrative Guide.
Students as early as grade 2 can begin to understand, learn, and apply narrative writing skills, creating entertaining narrative stories.