Elementary Narrative Writing Lessons and Activities

Children begin writing narratives in class at an early age. Each year of elementary school, students increase their ability to write more thorough, detailed descriptions while setting an overall tone for their stories. Help your child improve his or her writing skills by creating practice lesson plans and activities to be completed at home.

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How to Teach Elementary School Students Narrative Writing

When elementary students practice narrative writing, they should focus on writing essays and stories with strong introductions, detailed descriptions and thought-provoking conclusions. Starting as early as kindergarten, your child has been exposed to narrative writing in the classroom, but providing additional at-home activities and lessons will encourage skill development and understanding. The sample lessons provided are meant to be used as your child advances in his or her narrative writing ability.

Narrative Writing Activities by Concept

Sequence of Events and Descriptive Details

As your child becomes more comfortable with narrative writing, it's important for him or her to continually increase the amount and depth of details included in each piece. In order to produce a quality story, your child should learn to clearly describe the actions, thoughts and feelings of each character. A common activity used in all grades in elementary school is a writing prompt. Creating prompts on topics relevant to your child helps spark an interest in storytelling, provides basic structural guidelines and encourages use of detailed descriptions.

Writing Prompt Sample

Think about the most recent trip you took with your family. It could have been a long vacation or a short trip to do something fun, like camping or skiing. Write a narrative essay describing the trip to a friend or family member who wasn't there. Try to paint a picture in your reader's head by including details about who you were with, the activities you did, anything out of the ordinary that may have happened and why you enjoyed it.

Characters, Dialogue and Organization

Around third grade, students learn more about plot, characters and dialogue. However, developing the different aspects of a narrative from scratch may prove difficult or confusing for some. In order to help your child better comprehend the elements of a plot, such as character introduction, rising action, climax and resolution, have him or her brainstorm a topic and write an original story.

Plot Outline

One activity that may be helpful for your child when writing his or her own narrative story is to first create an outline. Outlining worksheets can be found online, but you can easily create your own. Start by drawing a four by five grid. Label the columns as 'Actions,' 'Characters,' 'Setting' and 'Dialogue.' Then, label the rows as 'Introduction,' 'Rising Action,' 'Climax,' 'Falling Action' and 'Resolution.'

Allow your child to fill in each row with the appropriate details. This will help provide a better understanding of each step in the plot and how events should be organized within a story. Once complete, you can help your child use the outline to write and illustrate the story on paper. You may choose to bind your child's final copy so he or she can keep the story and show it off to family and friends.

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