In our last blog post, we planned our narratives and discovered different ways to begin a narrative. http://www.writenow-rightnow.com/blog/2017/lets-write-a-story-part-one It was now time to write the introductions to our narratives. Returning to the original plan about a bear, I decided we would first practice writing an introduction which focused on the setting. The setting includes items we might see, hear and feel.
To begin, I asked students to close their eyes and imagine elements they would see, hear and feel in the forest. Together we listed these words or phrases on the board. Examples were: tall trees, leaves blowing in the wind, blue sky, puffy clouds, birds singing, a trail through the woods, crunching leaves, etc. Using these words, we first wrote a setting introduction together. The students were then asked to write a Setting Introduction independently.
The next day, we returned to our chart listing ways to begin a narrative. This time, we decided to try beginning our narrative using a Dialogue Introduction. (This also proved to be the perfect time to teach quotation marks.) To help students refrain from the “Hi,” said the girl. “Hi,” said the friend dialogue trap, students went back to their novels to find examples of engaging conversations between characters. The students and I wrote a dialogue introduction together and then they completed their own introduction independently.
Students had now written two compelling introductions for their fictional narrative. They were asked to choose the one they felt was the most interesting and put a star next to it. With the introduction complete, they were now ready to continue writing their narratives. We had moved beyond a basic introduction and had practiced adding the details necessary to hook our reader from the beginning.
Taking the time to plan their narratives and then write a compelling introduction gave students the confidence they needed to begin their writing. They understood how to add details and were confident in their abilities to write a story.
We would love to hear about your experiences with narratives!
Darlene and Terry
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