Writing a story template for middle school
I used this process with middle school students, but it would work with most age groups. What you want is a working draft, a starting point, something to build on for later, rather than a blank page or screen to stare at. Join my mailing list and get weekly tips, tools, and inspiration that will make your teaching more effective and fun.
Use a flashlight or small lamp to read the stories. Have them look at your rubric and find places in the model that illustrate the qualities listed in the rubric. To help out these students, along with all the others, I use a few different graphic organizers to help make planning and writing narratives that are focused, sequential, and interesting a bit easier for my students.
Have students complete a basic story arc for their chosen topic using a diagram like the one below. I have noticed that when the mini-charts are right there at their fingertips, they tend to be used more frequently.
Step 2: Study the Structure of a Story Now that students have a good library of their own personal stories pulled into short-term memory, shift your focus to a more formal study of what a story looks like.
A student might tell a true story that happened to someone else, but write it in first person, as if they were that person. Remind students to focus on suspense or plot twists and not gore.
And by listening to the stories of their classmates, they will be adding onto that list and remembering more of their own stories. Step 5: Story Mapping At this point, students will need to decide what they are going to write about.
Teaching narrative writing 3rd grade
If students are not used to working in small groups or giving peer evaluations, this should be modeled. Step Final Copies and Publication Once revision and peer review are done, students will hand in their final copies. This should be a story on a topic your students can kind of relate to, something they could see themselves writing. Click the image above to view the full list of narrative texts recommended by Cult of Pedagogy followers on Twitter. However, when you are 8 years old, there are not a whole lot of things you consider yourself an authority on. They will be reading this model as writers, looking at how the author shaped the text for a purpose, so that they can use those same strategies in their own writing. Creating a diagram like the one below forces a writer to decide how much space to devote to all of the events in the story. By telling their own short anecdotes, they will grow more comfortable and confident in their storytelling abilities. Step 8: Long Drafts With a good plan in hand, students can now slow down and write a proper draft, expanding the sections of their story that they plan to really draw out and adding in more of the details that they left out in the quick draft. Have them look at your rubric and find places in the model that illustrate the qualities listed in the rubric. A student might tell a true story that happened to someone else, but write it in first person, as if they were that person. The most helpful parts for them to observe were the early drafting stage, where I just scratched out whatever came to me in messy, run-on sentences, and the revision stage, where I crossed things out, rearranged, and made tons of notes on my writing. Come back for more.
If students are not used to working in small groups or giving peer evaluations, this should be modeled. Keep in mind that we have not read most of these stories, so be sure to read them first before adopting them for classroom use.
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