Over the next few weeks I hope to focus on different writing genres and the resources that can be used to support it in your class.
The narrative genre is outlined in page 3 of the PDST Writing Genre Booklet.
Children love to write stories and the hardest part for teachers is helping them to organise their thoughts. I often find that the narrative writing often includes pages and pages of dialogue as the children are writing as they think.
PDST have great activities to begin your narrative writing lessons in their Writing Handbook. My class really enjoy the Pass-it-on activity. Each child starts a story on an A4 page, they write the opening paragraph and then fold it down. They then pass the story to the child on their left who continues the story. It is a fun and engaging activity for all pupils and especially for those who may be reluctant to write.
When introducing the children to narrative writing genres I also focus on narrative stories in reading lessons. In this way you can analyse the text and identify specific features that the children are working on in their own writing.
One strategy I used was analysing story starters and how they created a picture in the mind of the reader. I think it could be a PDST activity also. The children discussed the setting and the characters and then added adjectives which added to the detail of the story starter. they then could compare their story starter to those in novels or comprehension texts. While they may be reluctant to critique their own work and work of their peers, the children may become more engaged in critiquing the work from their textbooks. They can then apply the language and strategies to their own work.
I like to use graphic organisers in the class to help the class to plan their writing.I use Character Maps and Setting Maps so that children can organise their thoughts and include little details that can be use throughout the text. I particularly like the organisers from Reading a-z. Lots of ideas for graphic organisers available from Scholastic too. If you wanted to create different character and setting maps to differentiate for your class you can edit them on this storyboard site.
In Senior Classes I want to develop their writing further, during the Summer I purchased a Dual Narrative pack from ICT with Mr. P. My class are loving it, while initially they get to write their own story in a free writing session, the pack then outlines different lessons to review and analyse dual narratives from Jaws and then how to reconstruct their stories using a Dual Narrative model. They then practice their piece and perform it, I hope to record their stories and publish them on Soundcloud for the children to access at home. My class have loved these activities as have I and we are only half way through the suggested lessons.
I can see the value in analysing known texts when teaching specific features, something I want to develop with my class this year across other genres.
If you have any questions on this blog post please send me a PM.