Narrative writing was always my favorite type of writing to teach. The stories that my students came up with were AMAZING! The problem was, they always lacked organization, they would leave important parts out! They would have a great lead, but there was no problem in the story. Or, they had a problem, but no solution. Fortunately, I created something that helped us tremendously! Graphic Organizers! In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of using graphic organizers in the classroom and show you how to leverage them to improve your students’ narrative writing abilities. From types of organizers to tips for effective implementation, we’ll cover everything you need to know to empower your young writers. Let’s dive in!
Why Use Graphic Organizers for Narrative Writing?
Prewriting is an important part of the writing process! Using a graphic organizer for prewriting is an awesome way to provide structure and organization for students. By breaking down their ideas into smaller pieces, young writers can more easily see the connections between different parts of their stories and make sure that they have all the parts that they need. This can be especially useful for students who struggle with expressing themselves through writing.
Narrative Writing Graphic Organizers
There are several types that can be used to teach narrative writing skills to young students. You can find tons of organizers using a simple Google search!
One option is to provide your students with paper that has a space for drawing. They can draw a picture of the parts of their narrative writing that they want to make sure to include!
Another popular option is the storyboard, which helps students organize their ideas into a clear beginning, middle, and end. This type can be especially helpful for students who struggle with structuring their writing.
A Story Map can also be a little more detailed. This one is my favorite! It has spaces for students to jot down ALL of the parts of the story that they would like to write: Hook (or lead), Characters, Setting, Problem, Solution, and Ending. They get all of their ideas down on the page, then they start writing!
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There are also very specific organizers if you find that your students are struggling with a particular writing skill such as dialogue or writing a fairy tale!
How to Introduce Graphic Organizers in Your Classroom
Start with showing your students examples of different writing graphic organizers. Talk about what they notice about them, and ask your students how they think that they could be helpful to their writing.
Once you’ve introduced them, it’s a good idea to model their use. (I Do. Gradual Release of Responsibility Model). Show your students step-by-step how to plan a story using the organizer of your choice. You can do this in one lesson (if you keep it moving along), or fill it out the first day and the next day, and show your students exactly how you use it to write the story. By modeling the process yourself, students can get a better sense of how they work and how they can be used to develop their own writing.
Then, it is always a good idea to practice using one together as a class (We do.) This lesson can move a little more quickly. Have the students help you to fill it with ideas for the story (it may be really silly, but then they will remember it!). Write the story together!
Finally, it’s important to provide opportunities for students to practice using graphic organizers on their own (You Do.). Start with the one that you modeled with your students. Let them use it by themselves or with a partner to write a story!
Tips for Using Graphic Organizers Effectively
Once you’ve introduced graphic organizers to your students, it’s important to ensure that they’re using them effectively. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Model, Model, Model! Make sure your students know how to use them before they will use them independently.
- Start with simple organizers. Once your students have mastered using the storyboard, they can move on to the story map!
- Use a variety of organizers. While it’s important to start with simple organizers, it’s also essential to provide a variety of organizers for your students to choose from. By offering a range of options, you can support different learning styles and help students find the organizer that works best for them.
- Provide feedback and support. As your students begin to use graphic organizers on their own, provide feedback and support to help them refine their skills. Encourage them to reflect on their writing process and consider how they can improve their use in the future.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can help your students become more confident in their use of graphic organizers to assist them with their narrative writing!
Using graphic organizers in your classroom can significantly improve your students’ narrative writing skills. By providing a visual aid to help organize their thoughts and ideas, students can develop critical thinking skills and craft fun stories! As author Rick Wormeli once said, “Good writing is clear thinking made visible.” Your students can make their thinking visible through the use of graphic organizers and watch as their writing skills soar.
Looking for the Organizers shown in this post? You can find them here:
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this post! Happy Teaching!