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Narrative Writing

Students should be writing narratives that develop real or imagined experiences and events.  The Common Core Standards suggests narratives at this level should include descriptive details and very clear event sequences.

While writing stories and descriptions, students should establish a situation and make use of a narrator and characters. Characterization can be developed through dialogue and description.  Students at this level can learn the nuances of fiction writing including plot and character development.

Writing in fourth grade through middle school should include transition words and phrases to carry the sequence of events along.  These transitions should be between paragraphs and also start to appear within paragraphs to hold thoughts together.

Parents should consider printing a list of transition words.  This list provides students with the actual transition reference words, and also categorizes them by occasion of use. Upper elementary students should be aware of the FANBOYS mnemoric for the most basic coordinating conjuctions:

  • F - For
  • A - And
  • N - Nor
  • B - But
  • O - Or
  • Y - Yet
  • S - So

Students should be including more sensory details and their writing should reflect more precision.  Students should utilize the five-paragraph essay as their organizational structure. For example, in a narrative essay about the student personally, the three body paragraphs could be traits everyone knows about me, traits only my closest friends know, and traits I want to develop.