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Recipes for Effective Literacy Instruction

Narrative Writing

Let's face it: Stories keep us sane; we read them both for entertainment and in our quest for meaning in this life.  This page offers a quick overview of how to approach narrative writing instruction.

Note: If you're looking for tips on how to prepare students for the PARCC Narrative Writing Task, please check out these TLC Blog posts.  On the PARCC Prep page, you will find many additional resources!

For more information, you should also check out the following TLC pages:

Here are a few QUICK HINTS about how to approach NARRATIVE WRITING INSTRUCTION:

1. Show models and discuss what makes them so awesome.  The value of reading excellent examples cannot be overstated.

2. Provide an instructive rubric to clarify your expectations.  See the Writing Rubrics page for more info.

3. Teach students the writing process, breaking down each step and giving them lots of practice and feedback.  Writer's Workshop can be a helpful vehicle for this process.  The Narrative Writing Pre-writing Organizer can help students organize their thoughts, whether you are preparing them for a timed assessment or not.  For two effective feedback approaches, check out this TLC Blog post on Narrative Writing Feedback Tools.

4. Give students opportunities to share their work and celebrate it!

If you're working on PERSONAL NARRATIVES, check out this Personal Narrative Project with Rubric.

Working on dialogue and inference? Here's a fun way to invite students to apply their inference skills: Read "The Conversation Piece" by Ned Guymon (which originally appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1950) and figure out what is going on in this dialogue.

BONUS RESOURCE: The NY Times created a list of 500 prompts for narrative and personal writing.  Click HERE or go to the Download Zone to download it.


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