Narrative Writing Workshop: Using Graphic Organizers to Help Elaborate on Ideas We Write

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SWBAT engage the reader by establishing a lead and thesis statement to support the unfolding of events in their stories.

Big Idea

No Need to Sit on My Knee: I Can Tell A Story in 1-2-3!

Lesson Introduction

Why is it important for teenagers to recall memories of the past? It is true that memories can shape the mood, actions, and behaviors of the future. While young adolescents eventually grow up, remembering events of their past can enlighten visions for their future. In this narrative workshop, students will look at the elements of narrative to understand how transitions and elaboration can allow a reader to understand the beginning, middle, and end of a story. 

Building Knowledge: Note-Taking on Narratives

15 minutes

Students will begin this workshop by taking notes on Narratives. As I go over each slide, students will write their notes in their notebooks. The notes take students through the definition of narratives and its organization of an introduction, body, and conclusion. The ending slides give students a chance to apply the notes to sample prompts that their individual narratives could focus on.

Pre Stage of the Writing Process

20 minutes

Students will choose a prompt for their narrative. For the remainder of class, students will use a 5 paragraph narrative essay outline to complete the first step of the writing process: Pre-write. As students work independently, I will support students who need help organizing their ideas on paper. This support can look like the following things:

  • Conferencing with students about what they want to talk about
  • Encouraging students to use more vivid examples and/or reasons for writing their paper


At this time, students will be allowed to complete their outline from their initial thoughts. In future classroom mini-lessons, students will be taught how to write an effective hook, thesis statement, and utilize transitions to help their ideas flow logically on paper.

Drafting Stage of Writing Process

20 minutes

After the outline is complete, students will write the introduction paragraph of their essay. Here we are emphasizing the use of a hook and a thesis statement that will support the reasons why students are choosing to write their stories. During this time, I will pull a small group of students to work with during this point in the writing process. Because telling a story hits on students' creativity, many students may need assistance in starting their stories on The Nightmare.

In this student narrative introduction talk, I discuss how students were able to take what was learned in the notes and apply it to thier introduction paragraphs. Although an outline was provided for students to use prior to writing, the most effective influence on this students' sample intro was the notes taken at the beginning of the lesson.