If you are looking for ways to teach students how to write an introduction in a narrative story, you are in the right place! An introduction is the beginning of the story so it should introduce a character or two as well as establish the setting and plot! These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed for scaffolding through the writing process. Read on for steps to writing an effective introduction.
What steps should you take to create a powerful introduction?
An introduction should include the main character and can have other characters. Explain that not all of the characters need to be introduced right away, but the main character should be introduced. In the body of the paper, students can bring in more characters. I have a post on character traits later in this writing mini lesson series. Upper elementary students have a habit of wanting to tell a whole story that leads up to the actual place where the story is beginning which leaves no room for the actual plot. The best way to avoid that is start off the story with the problem so the story can be developed from there. Think of CSI. The crime is presented at the beginnin of the show. Then the story unfolds. This is the same with narrative writing. In the introduction, the character(s), setting and plot should be introduced. It gives the rest of the essay room to develop the characters and story.
2. Mentor Text
A good mentor text for teaching the elements to put in an introduction, is Thundercake by Patricia Polacco. She introduces the characters, setting and plot at the beginning.
For the setting, a good mentor text is Working Cotton by Sherley Anne Williams. Discuss the details of the setting in the story.
Take the story you are working on as a class and model writing an introduction. Talk out loud as you brainstorm and have students chime in. Discuss the characters, plot (from previous lesson), the setting. Choose a student(s) to draw the setting on large paper and as a class discuss what to add. Together, write a vivid description. Discuss the reason for choosing each particular part of the introduction. It gives students a deepers understanding to how the stories are developed. Then show students how to add the introduction to a graphic organizer.
4. Take Notes
Have students take notes on introductions and brainstorm their own introduction elements and reason for their choices. Taking notes is important so students have a reference the next time they write a narrative story. If your time is limited, make a copy of an anchor chart or the notes you want them to remember and hand it out to your students to keep in a notebook. This is an example of an interactive notebook page for notes.
Now students have the foundation for writing a good introduction for their own story. Have students use their notes and create an introduction on their graphic organizer.
If there is time, it is always good to have students share introductions with another peer or peer group. This assures that you are on track.
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LAST LESSON: WRITING MINI LESSON #15- CRAFTING A PLOT
This lesson is included in the STEP-BY-STEP Writing Notebooks® with mini lessons for paragraph, narrative, opinion, and informative writing designed to scaffold through the writing process. It includes anchor charts for teaching, interactive notebook pages for taking notes, modeled stories, mentor text, practice sheets, tracking forms, goal forms, prompts, and so much more! Click on the pic below to find out how to motivate students and boost test scores with this year-long STEP-BY-STEP writing program®!
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