Lesson: Introduction to Narrative Writing, Using "Mud Pony"

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Lesson Objective

With the reading The Mud Pony, wonderful writers will be able to determine the main parts of a narrative as defined by having a conflict, resolution, and meaningful topic in order to develop their writing.

Lesson Plan

Standards:  W.5.5.3 Create expository, narrative, descriptive, and persuasive writings


Learning Objective: With the reading The Mud Pony, wonderful writers will be able to determine the main parts of a narrative as defined by having a conflict, resolution, and meaningful topic  in order to develop their writing.


Duration: 45 minutes



  • Worksheets
  • The Mud Pony by Caron Lee Cohen (4th Grade The Trait Crate)
  • Pencils



  • Do Now: Multiple Choice: Types of Writing
  • What’s a narrative?
  • Reading Wolf! by Becky Bloom and Determining
  • Independent Practice: Application of Ideas and Details
  • Closure


Main Idea: Narrative writing involves the production of stories or personal essays. It encourages writers to use their creativity and powers of observation to develop stories that can capture a reader's imagination. It recounts a personal or fictional experience or tells a story based on a real or imagined event. Through practice and learning techniques, students will learn how to write narrative essays to convey an essay.


Do Now: Multiple Choice Questions about Types of Writing  

Hook: What kind of stories do you like to read? What is your favorite book that has a great story in it?


Instruction: Today, we are going to continue to learn how to write our own stories which are called narratives.  Narrative writing recounts a personal experience or tells a story based on a real event or on an imagined event. All details come together to entertain the reader. In narrative writing, we have plot, characters, setting, and a resolution. Stories are organized in time-order sequence and transitions.  Some narratives have dialogue. Where are can we find stories? Narrative writing appears in poetry, short stories, novels, plays, personal essays, and folk tales, to name just a few.


We are going to continue to focus on the three main parts of a story and organize a story using these three parts on a pre-writing sheet.  The three main parts of a narrative are defined by the introduction, the main event, and the resolution which means the ending. The more practice you have writing with these three parts, the better your narrative will be.  


Three parts of the narrative story: (Projected on the board)

  • Strong Introduction
  • The who, what, where and why of the story
  • Introduces the main character
  • Setting: Sets the scene—time and place
  • Presents a problem  or incident
Body of the story—the meat of the story
  • Add details to the problem or the event that is happening
  • Tells the climax
  • The climax will relate to the main topic of your story. The climax usually tells what is the meaning part of your story.
Resolution or conclusion
  • Provides a solution to the problem
  • Let’s a reader know what was meaningful in your story

So again—What does that look like?  Today, we are going to focus on the meaning and ideas of a picture book called The Mud Pony by Caron Lee Cohen in order to determine the main parts of a narrative. This narrative is about a wandering, tired, hungry wolf that strolls into town with nothing but a little emergency money. He suddenly remembers that there is a farm just outside of town where he can get some food. He will meet some animals and they will challenge him. It’s an interesting story with an introduction, problem, and resolution.  

Now, I am going to read you this story called The Mud Pony by Caron Lee Cohen. As I am reading, listen for the main parts of the story. It will be made clear by the interesting details that show how a character solves a problem. Once I’ve finished, we will talk about what the most important parts of this book.  Instructor will read the book aloud, showing the pictures as she goes.


Reading and Questions (7 minutes): During the reading, instructor will emphasize two or three details the author conveys in order for students to grasp important details (Re-cap: What just happened? What did the wolf wanted to do again? Why do you think the wolf wanted to read?).  At the end of the book reading, the class will discuss the main idea of the book. Instructor projects a pre-writing narrative triangle on the board. Instructor will ask questions regarding the story and fill in the information to show students how they will pre-write before writing.

  • Ask students to identify the introduction and what information is given to the reader.
  • Who was the main character?
  • What is the setting?
Ask students to identify the parts of the body
  • What is the problem or main conflict of this story?
Ask students to identify the climax
  • What is the height of tension?
Ask students to identify the resolution
  • How is the problem resolved?

Independent Writing (30 minute): Instructor will provide students. Students will silently identify which prompt is a narrative and write it on their pre-writing sheet. Instructor will go around each student to check if they are correct. Once students are correct, they will respond to the prompt by first pre-writing. Essay will serve as independent practice/homework.

List of Prompts: Identify the narrative. Pre-write. Write.


1.      Of all of your classes at school, there is one that is your favorite. Think about your favorite class and why you like it. Now write to persuade a student to take that class with you.

2.      Think about the last time you attended a special event such as a concert, a fair, or a sports event. Describe what it was like to be there and include sights, sounds, and smells that will make the reader feel he or she is there with you.  

3.      Imagine that you are an explorer. Where would you go? What would you want to discover? Who would you meet? How would you get there? Write a story about your adventure.

4.      There are both good things and bad things about playing on a team, such as a football or soccer team. Write a letter to your teacher in which you explain both what is good and what is bad about playing on a school team. Be sure to explain each point fully.


After instructor has checked their work, students will continue to independent writing. Instructor will walk around the room to see students’ development. While prewriting/writing, pay special attention to formulating your ideas and organization. With your ideas, re-read the prompt to make sure you are aware of the goal and purpose of your essay. Instruction will look for little evidence of development (writing may be unfocused or lacking), some evidence (writing is complete but unfocused and unorganized), and clear evidence (writing is completed, focused, and organized).


Homework: Please turn in a final copy tomorrow on loose leaf. Words minimal: 100.


Closure: What is a narrative? What is the three main parts of a narrative? Instructor checks for understanding after students have submitted their prewriting and essay for homework.


Lesson Resources

Introduction to Narratives, Using "Mud Pony"  


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