When I joined Younghoon’s 4th grade team my team leaders excitedly told me about an amazing Narrative Writing unit. Their excitement quickly became my own as I our class discovered elements of narrative writing and ultimately generated our own characters, settings and plot lines. At first the students thought this would be just like any other writing project but the creative juices quickly started flowing and we got wacky new characters and interactions you’d never expect.
‘SWBAT use the elements and appropriate text features of narrative writing to create the final product.’
Students were assigned to create a Fractured Fairy Tale; they could create their own characters or use ones from other stories as long as their plot was original. Suddenly I found myself helping them edit stories of Mickey Mouse and Iron Man trying to save Humpty Dumpty on Mars! Their reactions to me announcing “today we are going to work on writing!” slowly transformed from blank stares to shouts of excitement and students actually jumping for joy. Many of them even asked if they could work on it on their own breaks!
As I mentioned before this was a lesson that I inherited but the following year I revamped it by making a scaffolded pre-writing guide. Each kid had the chance to create everything from scratch or use character & setting banks. The guide included graphic organizers, key parts of narrative writing and other tips to help the students independently write a story.