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Yes, that’s a lot, so what exactly do I need to teach?
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. When you make a purchase through these links, Cult of Pedagogy gets a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. With a well-told story we can help a person see things in 4ht entirely new way.
We can forge new relationships and strengthen the ones we already have. But when we study storytelling with our students, we forget all that.
Or at least I did.
When my students asked why we read novels and stories, and why we wrote personal narratives and fiction, my defense was pretty lame: I probably said something about the importance of having a shared body of knowledge, or about the enjoyment of losing yourself in a book, or about the benefits of having writing skills in general.
I forgot to talk about the power of story.
What Happens During the Climax of a Story?
If we can pass that on to our students, then we will be going beyond a school assignment; we will be doing something transcendent. How do we get them to write those stories?
I used this process with middle school students, but it would work with most age groups. When teaching narrative writing, many teachers separate personal narratives from short stories.
A Note About Process: Write With Your Students
In my own classroom, I tended to avoid having my students write short writihg because personal narratives were more accessible. I could usually get students to write about something that really happened, while it was more challenging to get them to make something up from scratch.
Another writer might create a writing a narrative essay 4th grade story in first person that reads like a personal narrative, but is entirely fictional.
Just last weekend my husband and I watched the movie Lion and were glued to the screen the whole time, knowing it was based on a true story. The line between fact and fiction has always been really, really blurry, but the common thread running through all of it is good storytelling.
The most helpful parts for them to observe were the early drafting stage, where I just writing a narrative essay 4th grade out whatever nardative 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. Before I get into these steps, I should note that there is no one right way to teach narrative writing, and plenty of accomplished teachers are doing it differently and getting great results.
This just happens to be a process that has worked for me.]