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Lesson Five


Essential Element: Writing (Narrative)



  • W.4.5.1-8.1 Generate ideas using such strategies as reading, discussing,

focused and unfocused free-writing, observing, brainstorming,

and reading logs

  • W.4.5.2-8.2 Organize ideas by using such graphic organizers as webbing,

mapping, charts/graphs, formal outlining, and Venn diagrams

  • W.4.5.3-8.3 Demonstrate an awareness of purpose and audience with

emphasis on expository, narrative, descriptive, and

persuasive writing

  • W.5.5.1-8.1 Write to describe, to inform, to entertain, to explain, and to


  • W.5.5.3-8.3 Create expository, narrative, descriptive, and persuasive





Narrative writing is more than writing a story. It gives a student the chance to use his or her imagination while demonstrating his or her knowledge of the Standard English conventions. While there are certain parameters or outlines all good stories follow, a student is ultimately limited only by his or her imagination. All narrative writing should employ these story elements: title, characters, plot—including conflict and resolution, setting—including time and place, introduction, climax, and resolution.


The following lesson plan is designed to be the first day’s instruction in a weeklong unit on narrative writing. A suggested weekly schedule is:


  • Monday—prewriting/brainstorming activities

  • Tuesday—write first draft

  • Wednesday—edit first draft, rewrite

  • Thursday—publish writing

  • Friday—present narrative to class




  • Writer’s notebooks

  • Resource materials (dictionary, thesaurus, computer, etc.)

  • Picture from magazine (previous day’s homework assignment or from class picture file)

  • Chalkboard/chalk, whiteboard/markers, or chart paper/markers



Direct Explanation:

Today we are going to begin writing our narrative stories. Take out your Writer’s Notebooks and the picture you have selected for your setting. Please refer to the chart on the wall or to the copy in your notebook. This lists the elements you will need to include in your story. Read them to yourself while I read them aloud.” (see Handout 1)




I have placed the picture I chose for the setting on the overhead. For my prewriting activity today, I am going to make a “sloppy copy” of my story. In other words, I am going to make a quick outline to follow while I’m writing, so I can remember to include these things I want my reader to know:

  • Who—are my characters?

  • What—is happening to them?

  • When—does this take place?

  • Where—does this take place?

  • Why—is there a problem?

  • How—is the problem solved?


This is how my outline looks:

  • Who—Bill and Bob

  • What—while they are hiking in the woods they get lost

  • When—Fall

  • Where—in the Ozark Mountains? maybe the Buffalo National River?

  • Why—they are lost and argue about the best way to try to find help

  • How—GPS on their cell phones? follow the stars? follow the river?


Notice in my outline, I have made notes to myself which include two or three choices. I may decide in my writing that one idea sounds better than another.”



Guided Practice:

Let’s try the outline process first on this picture.” (Display a picture that you have selected.) “Working with the person across the row from you, develop a quick outline.” (See Handout 2) “You will have about 5 minutes to complete this activity.” (After 5 minutes, call on volunteers from the class to write on the board what they brainstormed.)




What I’d like you to do now is to make your outline and begin filling in your ideas based on your picture. Remember, even if two pictures are similar, each writer will bring his or her own viewpoint to the picture so that the story elements will be different.”


Assessment: Create a rubric that evaluates the components of narrative writing.



Tier II Additions/Accommodations:

  • Work with peers, paraprofessional, or teacher

  • Dictate outline to peer, paraprofessional, or teacher

  • Allow student to complete outline at home

  • Allow extended time for completion of story


Assessment: Same as Tier I



Tier III Modifications:

  • Dictate outline and story to peer, paraprofessional, teacher or parent

  • Use word prediction computer programs

  • Type story onto text-to-speech program so student can listen and edit as he/she writes

  • Dictate story onto tape


Assessment: Shorten length of assignment to the basic story elements. Use modified rubric for grading.



Tier IV Modifications:

  • Allow student to dictate the story onto tape focusing on one or two elements, such as “who” or “where”

  • With paraprofessional, peer, teacher or parent have student listen to tape and add elements

  • Continue until story is complete

  • Have story transcribed


Assessment: Use modified rubric to grade student on final transcript



Tier V Modifications:

  • Paraprofessional, parent volunteer or teacher will help the student generate answers to: who, where, what, and when using pictures/icons.

  • Student will generate sentences using selected pictures/icons.


Assessment: Student will be assessed on sentences generated with the pictures/icons. Student may use augmentative/alternative communication system to generate sentence.


Narrative Writing + Handouts




Novelli, J. (2000) Teaching Story Writing, New York, NY: Scholastic


Janney, R., and Snell, M. E. (2000) Modifying Schoolwork, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.


Copyright © 2006 Arkansas Department of Education. All rights reserved. School districts may reproduce these materials for in-school student use only. No resale. Materials may not be reproduced, distributed or sold for Commercial use or profit. ADE employees are not authorized to waive these restrictions.

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