Are you getting ready to teach narrative writing?  This post will give you 3 steps to prepare for narrative writing and is ideal for any writing curriculum that includes narrative writing. These teaching ideas are a part of a series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed for scaffolding through the writing process. Read about the 3 steps! 


Begin by reading a mentor text.  One may be  Uncle Jed’s Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell.  


Discuss the following Narrative Writing Elements that are in the mentor text of your choice.  If you have one of my Interactive Writing Notebooks, you will find a mentor text list for your grade level.

  1.  Tells a story using time.
  2.  Has a beginning, middle, and end.
  3.  Can be real or imaginary.
  4.  Uses story elements:  narrator, characters, setting, problem, solution
  5.  Crafts a plot.
  6.  Has vivid descriptions of events, scenes, objects, and people.
  7.  May include dialogue.
  8.  Conveys a message or lesson learned.

You may also review your standards for narrative writing and inform students that they will accomplish all of the standards throughout the narrative unit.  This is a sample of Common Core Standards for Narrative Writing.  I like to give students a copy of the standards to check off as they complete each one.


Last you will need to plan out a few things.  Decide how you would like students to write for this essay.  If you follow my mini-lessons, it is designed to form a 5-paragraph story.  Since this is the first large paper my students write in my classroom, I like to pair them up for partner writing.  This may take a little time to pair up students who work together efficiently.  I expect both of them to do the writing portion but they collaborate to help think deeply about their story elements.  Also, plan to be working on Narrative writing for several weeks!  I take each mini-lesson and allow students time to take notes in their notebooks about the skill AND time to work on their story focusing on that lesson.  You can get a FREE PACING GUIDE HERE for grades 3-5.  Finally, decide on a prompt that works for your age level or allow them to decide on their own plots.  If you have my Interactive Writing Bundle, there is a prompt fully modeled with all the bells and whistles along with a list of prompts that you may use.  



This lesson is also included in the STEP-BY-STEP WRITING® Programwith mini-lessons designed to scaffold through the writing process. Writing units included are sentence structure, paragraph writing, narrative writing, opinion writing, and informative writing. See what is included in the image below and click on it to learn more about them! You will turn your reluctant writers into ROCKSTAR WRITERS™! 

“This is one of the best purchases I have made.  I love how it has step by step the writing process.  My students are engaged and truly understanding how to write.” -Laween B.